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What is contested vs. uncontested divorce?

If you are facing the unfortunate prospect of divorcing from your spouse, one daunting reality of divorce is negotiating the legalities of separating not just your relationship, but your assets, lives, and parenting responsibilities. Part of this involves filing appropriate papers and taking your case before Massachusetts courts, but did you know that before you do that you must first determine the type of divorce you will file for?

A number of factors impact the type of divorce you will file, but one of the first determinations to make is whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. According to, a contested divorce involves one party in the divorce disagreeing with the divorce terms or with the divorce itself. An uncontested divorce means that both parties involved agree to the divorce and are willingly filing for legal separation.

Uncontested divorces are among the simplest to file as long as both parties remain amicable and agree not just on the divorce itself, but on the terms of settlements, custody, and legal division of assets. With contested divorces, you may face more legal challenges if you or your partner either does not agree to the divorce or does not agree to the divorce terms and conditions, particularly if you or your partner refuse to sign the divorce papers. This can often happen in cases where one party believes the other to be at fault in ending the marriage.

This is an informational and educational blog that should not be used as legal advice or counsel.

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