In a fairytale world, every marriage would remain perfect and spouses would live out their lives happily ever after. But, sadly, in the real world there are simply some marriages that will end in divorce. If you have reached this point in your marriage, the first thing you'll need to understand is that there are two main types of divorce under Pennsylvania law - contested and uncontested.
While these two types of divorce are different from fault and no-fault divorces, they can influence the different potential outcomes of your divorce case. As such, it's worth taking a closer look at the differences between the two.
An uncontested divorce is a fairly straightforward process. In these types of divorce, there are either no major assets or children involved, or the couple has already come to a basic agreement as to how children and assets are to be handled - custody, division of property, and so on.
The easiest type of uncontested divorce will be one between spouses with nothing to argue over, and this is where it gets its name. In these cases, a couple will simply file for uncontested divorce and then undergo one hearing before the courts issue a final order for the divorce.
Contested divorces are different in that they can be much more emotional, messy, and take far longer to come to a conclusion. In contested divorces, there may be one or more factors that a spouse contests - everything from property to child custody to spousal support and beyond. Contested divorces may also involve situations wherein the couple agree to certain things, but not others. No matter the specifics, if a compromise can't be reached on your own, then you will be facing a contested divorce.
These types of divorces can often cost much more, take longer to settle, and bring up huge amounts of stress and emotion in those involved. Often, judges order mediation which involves allowing divorce lawyers or court appointed mediators to talk over the specific contested points and try to come to an amicable agreement.
No matter the type of divorce that you are about to have, it's important that you speak to an attorney beforehand. This will ensure that your rights are protected and help make it easier for you to move through the divorce with confidence and dignity, even if there are certain factors that are contested.