Realizing that your marriage is no longer working can be hard, but even more so if your spouse doesn’t accept it. Your spouse’s unwillingness can make filing for divorce more complicated. Still, it is possible to get divorced even if they are unwilling. However, an uncontested divorce involves more paperwork, appearances at court and, ultimately, more expenses.
Contested vs uncontested divorce
Most divorce cases are uncontested, meaning both parties agree on the divorce and all related financial and parenting issues. On the other hand, a contested divorce happens when both spouses cannot agree on the divorce or its legal grounds. In an uncontested divorce, the judge will be the one to determine the terms of the divorce.
How contested divorce works
Even if your spouse is not willing to get divorced, you can start the procedures on your own. To do this, you need to file a divorce action with a summons of notice. After, you need to file a Request for Judicial Intervention within 45 days or 120 days if both parties file a Notice of No Necessity. After the judge receives your request, they will ask you and your spouse to file a Net Worth Statement before they schedule a preliminary conference. Following the preliminary conference, both of you may have to attend a compliance conference and then the divorce trial after the court completes Discovery.
Contested divorce involves numerous visits to the Supreme Court, which is why it is considered more complex and expensive than an uncontested divorce. The court schedules the divorce trial no later than six months after the preliminary conference, so the entire contested divorce can last around 7 months, but every case is different.
The complexity of a contested divorce is the reason why it is more expensive and time-consuming than an uncontested divorce. Filing for divorce is already difficult, so you may consider other options before getting into the complicated process of a contested divorce. An experienced divorce mediator can help you and your spouse work through their divorce issues and reach a mutually agreeable settlement. That way, you can file for divorce in a faster and more efficient way.