Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in California

Divorce in California can be considered either contested (when the final settlement is reached in a courtroom) or uncontested (when the terms of the divorce are decided outside of court rather than decreed by a judge). Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, it is important to have an attorney to guide you through the process.

Contested divorce

Contested divorce refers to one in which the parties are unable to agree on one or more terms of the divorce on their own. A contested divorce goes to trial before a judge, who issues a final decision on any contested matters. It is crucial to have an experienced family law attorney if you face a contested divorce. A contested divorce can take one to three years, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of issues under contention.

Your attorney will guide you through the court proceedings, which can stressful and intimidating. If you and your spouse disagree on how to resolve the issues involved in your divorce, your attorney will be your advocate to ensure that all the important facts of your case are heard and that you get a fair settlement.

Uncontested divorce

Uncontested divorce refers to cases where the parties agree on the terms of the divorce without taking the case before a judge. An uncontested divorce allows the parties to avoid the stress of litigation and the cost of a lengthy court proceeding. An uncontested divorce typically takes six months to a year to finalize.

An attorney can help you through an uncontested divorce by writing up and filing all of the necessary paperwork and presenting everything to the court so the parties can avoid having to ever enter a courtroom. In an uncontested divorce, your attorney will make sure that all legal bases are covered and that the divorce agreement is comprehensive and equitable.

Contact Wilson & Pettine, LLP today

Finding the right family law attorney is not always easy, but it is important. Contact us online or call 805-564-2191 to speak to the experienced lawyers at Wilson & Pettine, LLP, and learn how they can help you through your contested or uncontested divorce case.

Conveniently located one block from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Wilson & Pettine, LLP represents clients throughout Santa Barbara and the neighboring area, including Carpinteria, Montecito, Goleta, and Summerland.

Last update of the article: 08/04/2020