Wife and husband signing divorce documents .

Contested or Uncontested Divorce: Which One Is Right for Me?

Caleb Bland Law, PLLC  Nov. 7, 2022

Filing for divorce has become quite common in Kentucky and across the United States. According to statistics from the CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics System, there were about 14,024 divorces in Kentucky in 2020. For individuals and couples looking to dissolve their marital union, uncontested and contested divorce are among the available options. 

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses will work together to resolve key divorce issues and other relationship differences mutually. In contrast, couples are unable to resolve vital divorce issues in a contested divorce, and the family court system may need to intervene. An experienced Kentucky family law attorney can enlighten you about your divorce options and help determine which one is right for you. 

At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, we're committed to offering knowledgeable and personalized legal guidance to clients in family law and divorce-related matters. As your legal counsel, we can educate you about the differences between an uncontested and contested divorce and help you decide on the ideal choice to end your marriage. Our firm is proud to serve clients across Elizabethtown, Louisville, Brandenburg, Radcliff, Shepherdsville, Hardin County, and Jefferson County, Kentucky. 

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?  

An uncontested divorce can be described as a divorce where both spouses mutually agree on all the crucial terms and provisions of the divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses will collaborate to resolve important divorce matters – including alimony, asset division, debt allocation, child support, custody, parenting time, and tax deductions – cordially. Generally, couples looking for a cheaper and stress-free marital dissolution in Kentucky – among other benefits – may pursue an uncontested divorce. 

The Uncontested Divorce Process  

Getting an uncontested divorce in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is typically straightforward. In fact, working with a mediator or mediation attorney makes it even easier and hassle-free. Nonetheless, it is still important that the spouses follow the vital steps when seeking an uncontested divorce. Here are the steps involved: 

  • The spouses will collaborate and work cordially to resolve crucial divorce matters and reach a feasible settlement.  

  • The mediator or attorney must accurately document all the divorce terms agreed upon. 

  • The formal settlement agreement is filed with the Kentucky court for official approval.  

  • The judge will evaluate the terms of the divorce settlement and ensure that it is just, equitable, and in the best interests of every party, most especially the kids.  

  • The judge will finalize the divorce case by approving the divorce settlement and issuing a divorce decree. 

A trusted attorney can enlighten you about the steps to take to prepare for divorce, advocate for your legal rights, and help keep the conversation productive and on the right track.  

What Is a Contested Divorce?  

Conversely, a contested divorce can be described as a divorce where the couples are unable to agree on some key provisions of the divorce. Due to this, the Kentucky family court system will be called upon to help settle any unresolved divorce matters. The spouses will attend a divorce hearing where the judge will review the case, listen to their arguments, and issue a final divorce decree.  

The Contested Divorce Process  

Here are the processes involved in a contested divorce in Kentucky:  

File Divorce Petition – The spouse requesting the divorce (petitioner) will prepare and file a Petition for Dissolution at the court.  

Serve Your Partner – The spouse seeking divorce will serve the divorce papers to the other spouse (respondent) through another adult. The petitioner can serve their spouse through the sheriff's department, a private process server, or mail. 

Respond – Once served, the respondent will have up to 20 days to review the divorce papers and respond to the petition or make a counterclaim. 

Divorce Discovery – The spouses will go through the divorce discovery process, including subpoenas, oral depositions, written interrogations, document inspection, and requests for written admissions.  

Attend Pre-Trial – At this stage, the divorcing parties will negotiate or propose a settlement agreement. If a settlement isn't reached, their case will move to trial. 

Attend Court Trial – During the divorce hearing, the judge will listen to both parties' arguments and issue a final judgment through a "Decree of Dissolution."  

A knowledgeable attorney can represent you compassionately, help present your case diligently in court, and improve your chances of getting the most favorable outcome in your divorce case.  

Which Kind of Divorce Is Right for Me? 

The right divorce for your unique situation will depend on various factors.  

An uncontested divorce may be right for you if: 

  • You want to avoid an expensive and stressful divorce at all costs. 

  • You want to avoid prolonged proceedings and negotiations. 

  • You want to settle divorce issues and relationship differences as quickly as possible. 

  • You want more control in your marital dissolution. 

  • You want to move forward quickly. 

  • You want to forgive your spouse and avoid grudges, especially when you have children together. 

Conversely, you may pursue a contested divorce through the family court system if: 

  • Your soon-to-be ex-spouse has unreasonable demands and expectations. 

  • Your partner is unwilling to negotiate or compromise. 

  • You and your partner are unable to agree on the important divorce settlement terms. 

  • You're unable to agree on a particular custody and parenting plan arrangement that is best for your kids. 

  • Your spouse denies your request for alimony or spousal support. 

  • You suspect your spouse of hiding assets and income. 

  • Your spouse is abusive or has a history of domestic violence. 

However, every divorce case is distinct and often requires thoughtful consideration. Hence, when thinking about dissolving your marital union, you need to consult with a knowledgeable Kentucky divorce attorney for reliable advocacy and to protect you and your family's best interests. 

Trusted Legal Guidance When You Need It Most 

Filing for divorce in Kentucky often involves several complicated procedures. Negotiating a divorce settlement with your soon-to-be ex-partner, dividing marital assets, and establishing spousal support and parenting plans can make the entire process very complex. Therefore, whether you intend to seek a contested or an uncontested divorce, it is imperative that you get detailed guidance from a trusted family law attorney to navigate intelligent decisions and avoid costly mistakes. 

At Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, we have devoted our careers to guiding individuals and couples through the complexities of divorce. Our knowledgeable legal team can enlighten you about the benefits and shortcomings of each divorce option, help you decide the right one, and guide you through the legal processes involved. Also, we will work intelligently with all parties involved to settle divorce matters amicably and peacefully and help you move forward quickly. 

Contact Caleb Bland Law, PLLC, today to schedule a simple case assessment with an experienced divorce attorney. Our reliable legal team can offer you the personalized legal guidance you need in your divorce case and advocate for your family's best interests. We're proud to serve clients across Elizabethtown, Louisville, Brandenburg, Radcliff, Shepherdsville, Hardin County, and Jefferson County, Kentucky.