At the Piatchek Law Firm, our attorneys regularly assist clients with both contested divorces (regular divorces) and uncontested divorces. We hear the following question all the time: What is the difference between “contested divorce” and “uncontested divorce?”
To begin, understand that there are many ways to handle a divorce, including an “uncontested divorce.” There are also many different terms that people use to describe “uncontested divorce,” such as the following:
- Cooperative Divorce
- No-Fault Divorce
- No-Contest Divorce
- Agreed Divorce
- Agreed-to Divorce
- Collaborative Divorce
- Quiet Divorce
- Quickie Divorce
- Simple Divorce
- Cheap Divorce
- Cooperative Divorce
Do all of these terms refer to the same thing? Generally, yes. All of the above terms are referring to cases in which the parties involved in the divorce are not fighting or hotly contesting.
What Is a Cooperative Divorce?
To be honest, we don’t really care for the term “uncontested divorce,” as it is a bit misleading. We think it is much more accurate to call it a “cooperative divorce.” If your spouse will not cooperate, or you are not sure if they will cooperate, your case is likely “contested.” Most divorce cases are contested; contested divorce is the norm. If you are not sure whether your case is contested or not, it should be presumed that you have a contested case. However, if your case is completely and totally agreed to by both parties and one of you wants to hire an attorney to process the case, we would consider that a “cooperative divorce.”
To have a cooperative, uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must totally agree to all items involved in the divorce, including the following:
- That you need a divorce
- All property issues, without exception
- All child support and custody issues, without exception
- All maintenance and alimony issues
- All health insurance issues
- All other issues
If this is the case, we can likely assist you with your cooperative, uncontested divorce for a reasonable, flat fee as part of our Affordable Legal Services program. There are several differences between “contested divorce” and “cooperative divorce,” including the following:
- Cooperative divorces are typically cheaper, quicker, and less stressful.
- Many cooperative divorces can be achieved without any court appearances.
- Cooperative divorces typically involve only one party hiring one attorney. The parties do not “share” an attorney (we represent only the petitioner in a cooperative divorce case).
- You do not get your “day in court” or any sense of “vindication” with a cooperative divorce, but you might get those things in a regular divorce.
We encourage many of our family law clients to work through their issues cooperatively with the other parties involved. Of course, this is not always possible. Cooperative divorces are not the norm, and they are not for everyone. This is why we also handle contested cases. Sometimes you have to fight for what is important to you in life. We strive to help clients with all types of family law issues, including the following:
- Contested Divorce
- Contested Modifications
- Child Custody and Support
- Cooperative, Uncontested Divorce
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Spousal Support
- Property Division
- Uncontested Modification
- Contested Modification
- Stepparent Adoptions
Our attorneys would be happy to meet with you to discuss the divorce process in Missouri. You will need a skilled, caring attorney to help you through this time in your life, and we are happy to help. Please contact us at 417-882-5858 or email us today to set up a time to come in and talk.