By: Joseph Piatchek
At our Springfield, Missouri law offices, our divorce attorneys hear the following question all the time: What is the difference between "contested divorce" and "uncontested divorce"?
To begin, there are 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; and many others.
Are they all the same? 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 the these two different types of cases "contested divorce", vs. "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 maintanance and alimony 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 acheived 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.
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:
Child Custody and Support
Step Parent Adoptions
If you are facing a family law issue, and need a skilled, carring attorney to help you through this time in your life, please contact us at (417) 882-5858 or email us today to set a time to come in and talk.
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For additional information on family law issues, please CLICK HERE to download the Family Law Resource Guide, brought to you in cooperation with the Missouri Bar. Click "LEGAL FORMS AND BROCHURES" located below for other free legal documents.
The Piatchek Law Firm, LLC, serves Springfield and southwest Missouri, including Greene County, Christian County, Taney County, Stone County, Marshfield, Buffalo, Fordland, Bolivar, Republic, Rogersville, Fremont Hills, Strafford, Willard, Battlefield, Highlandville, Nixa, Ozark, Brookline, Billings, Clever and Mt. Vernon, MO.
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