What is the Difference Between a Contested Divorce and An

Uncontested Divorce in Missouri?

Springfield, Mo Divorce Attorney Explains Types of Divorce

By: Joseph Piatchek

At The Piatchek Law Firm, our divorce attorneys regularly assist clients through both the contested divorce process (regular divorce) and the uncontested divorce process frequently.  Our divorce attorneys hear the following question all the time:

  • What is the difference between "contested divorce" and "uncontested divorce"?

To begin, it is good to understand that there are many ways to handle a divorce, including an "uncontested divorce".  There are also many different terms that people use to describe "uncontested divorce":

  • Uncontested Divorce;
  • Cooperative Divorce;
  • No-Fault Divorce;
  • No-Contest Divorce;
  • Agreed Divorce;
  • Agreed-to Divorce;
  • Collaborative Divorce;
  • Quiet Divorce;
  • Quickie Divorce;
  • Simple Divorce;
  • Cheap Divorce;
  • Cooperative Divorce;
  • and many others.

Are all of these terms referring to the same thing?  Generally, yes - all of the above terms are referring to cases in which the parties are not fighting or hotly contesting. 

What is a Cooperative Divorce?

To be honest, we don't really care for the term "uncontested divorce" to begin with; it is a bit misleading. We think it is much more accurate to call it a "cooperative divorce".  If your spouse will not cooperate, or you are not sure if they will cooperate, your case is likely "contested".  Most divorce cases are contested; contested divorce is the norm.   If you are not sure whether your case is contested or not, it should be presumed that you have a contested case. However, if your case is completely and totally agreed to, and one of you wants to hire one attorney to process the case, we would consider it a "cooperative divorce".

If you and your spouse totally agree to all items involved in the divorce, including the following:

  • That you need a divorce;
  • All property issues without exception;
  • All child support and custody issues, without exception; and
  • All maintenance and alimony issues;
  • All health insurance issues; and
  • All other issues

then you may indeed have a cooperative, uncontested divorce.  If this is the case, we can likely assist you with your cooperative, uncontested divorce for a reasonable, flat fee as part of our Affordable Legal Services program.  There are several differences between "contested divorce", and "cooperative divorce":

  • Cooperative divorces are typically cheaper, quicker, and less stressful;
  • Many Cooperative divorces can be achieved without any Court appearance;
  • Cooperative divorces typically involve only one party hiring one attorney, though the parties do  not "share" an attorney (we represent only the Petitioner in a cooperative divorce case)
  • You do not get your "day in court" or any sense of "vindication" with a cooperative divorce, but you might get those things in a regular divorce.

Contested Divorce

We encourage many of our family law clients to work through their issues cooperatively with the other parties, when it is possible. Of course, this is not always possible, cooperative divorces are NOT the norm, and cooperative divorces are not for everyone. This is why we also handle contested cases, sometimes you have to fight for what is important to you in life. We strive to help clients with all types of family law issues, including:

Our Divorce Attorneys Handle Contested and Uncontested Cases

Our Springfield, Missouri divorce attorneys are happy to meet with you to discuss the Missouri Divorce Process.  You will need a skilled, caring attorney to help you through this time in your life, and we are happy to help.  Please contact us at (417) 882-5858 or email us today to set a time to come in and talk.

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The Piatchek Law Firm, LLC, serves Springfield and southwest Missouri, including Greene County, Christian County, Taney County, Stone County, Webster County, Lawrence County, Polk County, Dallas County, Marshfield, Buffalo, Fair Grove, Monett, Aurora, Ash Grove, Fordland, Bolivar, Battlefield, Republic, Rogersville, Fremont Hills, Strafford, Willard, Battlefield, Highlandville, Kimberling City, Branson, Hollister, Forsyth, Saddlebrooke, Nixa, Ozark, Brookline, Billings, Lebanon, Aurora, Ava, Clever, Galena, Reeds Spring, and Mt. Vernon, MO.

* The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Neither the Supreme Court of Missouri nor The Missouri Bar reviews or approves certifying organizations or specialist designations. Certain cases may be referred, or may involve outside co-counsel arrangements, in which event you would be notified.