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What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is one in which both spouses cannot come to an agreement on all the issues relating to the divorce, or in which one spouse does not want to go through with the divorce. Common issues that spouses cannot agree on include child custody, child visitation, child and spousal support and property division. If these issues cannot be resolved and remain contested, the divorce will proceed to court. If your spouse will not sign papers or participate in the divorce, you can get a valid divorce through a default judgment. In a contested divorce, you should have a Family Law Attorney to help you understand your options and protect your interests and rights.

A big problem in contested divorce can be Malcreant Lawyers who escalate the conflict. Hiring a Cooperative Divorce Attorney can save a lot of cost and effort, and many times over if your spouse does the same.


What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce where husband and wife can agree on how to divide all community property assets and debts and agree on child custody, visitation, child support and alimony. An uncontested divorce works for couples who are not extremely angry at one another and recognize that even though their marriage did not work out, they do not want to punish the other for the things that lead to the decision to get a divorce.

An uncontested divorce is the simplest, quickest and most cost effective way to get a divorce because husband and wife have come to an agreement on issues that Courts decide when divorcing couples cannot agree. While couples often have attorneys to represent them in negotiations in uncontested divorce, attorneys fees are typically significantly lower than in contested divorce actions because although there might be minor differences, the spouses are in agreement about the fundamental issues which must be decided at divorce. The role of attorneys in an uncontested divorce is typically limited to drafting the papers containing the terms of the agreement the couple has reached on their own. However, sometimes couples have attorneys to help them reach an agreement and negotiate through their attorneys who have the experience to suggest resolutions which couples may not reach on their own.

An uncontested divorce keeps conflict levels lower during and after the divorce and is the right choice for you if you and your spouse have had discussions about your things and are not arguing about who gets what. For example, some couples agree that one spouse keeps the house and the other spouse gets the furniture and a lump sum payment to equalize the value of the home equity. Another way divorcing couples can come to an agreement about divorce is when they each agree to keep all debt incurred in their own names. In other words, each spouse will agree to pay off their own credit cards and not hold the other responsible for debt incurred during marriage. Divorcing couples often cannot agree about custody and visitation of their children. However, if you and your spouse can agree on where your child(ren) should live and the time they should spend with each parent, then an uncontested divorce may be the right choice for you.

Uncontested divorces can work best in short marriages with no assets or children or where joint custody of children is agreeable. Many divorces that start out uncontested end up contested for one or more reasons. Uncontested divorce usually won't work when -
(1) one spouse thinks the marriage is over and the other does not; or
(2) at least one spouse remains greedy and uninformed about divorce; or
(3) spouses are not able to talk to each other; or
(4) emotions are high concerning custody, visitation and support of children; or
(5) there is domestic violence; or
(6) one spouse wants to hurt the other more than save money; or
(7) one spouse thinks the other is hiding significant assets or income; or
(8) there are complications such as lots of assets, tax consequences, joint titles to real property, joint loans, or if children have unusual needs.

Here are some topics to discuss with your spouse if you think an uncontested divorce is the right choice for you.

 • Will one of you stay in the marital residence? How will you divide the equity if you are homeowners?
 • Where will the children live? Will they live with both parents or primarily with one parent and have regular visitation with the other? When will visits occur?
 • How will you divide holiday visitation with the children?
 • Who will provide health insurance for your children?
 • How will you pay for uncovered medical expenses?
 • How will you divide your furniture, car(s), home decor, tools, and other assets?
 • Who will pay which bills?
 • Do you have pension accounts, IRAs or 401K accounts? How will they be divided?
 • Do you need to change your will, trust, bank accounts, insurance beneficiaries?
 • Will one spouse pay alimony to the other? How much and for how long?
 • Child support is set by Nevada statute and cannot be waived. If you have one child, child support is 18% of your gross monthly income, for two children it is 25% of your gross monthly income, for three children it is 29% of your gross monthly income. There are other considerations regarding child support including presumed maximum monthly amounts, the way it is offset when parents share joint physical custody and other factors such as a parent’s legal obligation for support of others. The statutes governing child support can be found here. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html

Our exclusive family law office can help by drafting a Joint Petition for Divorce and the other accompanying documents. We cannot represent both spouses in an uncontested divorce but we can make the process as seamless as possible if you and your spouse agree on all of the significant issues that arise during a divorce. We can also advise you regarding the law governing child support, alimony, division of community property assets and debts, and provide other practical advice based on our experience in family law.