Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce | What Is the Difference?

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Divorce is a significant legal matter with a lot at stake for your and your spouse. This is why it is important to determine whether an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce is the best route for your situation. Follow along to learn the pros and cons of the two and how one of the proficient attorneys at our Suffolk County divorce law firm, the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., can be of any assistance necessary.

What is an uncontested divorce?

By definition, an uncontested divorce is used by couples who can independently resolve all their marital issues needed to finalize their divorce. Such marital issues typically include the following:

  • Spousal support.
  • Child custody.
  • Child support.
  • Division of property.

If you and your spouse believe you are capable of entering an uncontested divorce, you can choose an alternative divorce method such as mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. Notably, litigation is not necessary. For more, reach out to a talented Suffolk County uncontested divorce attorney today.

What is a contested divorce?

Put simply, a contested divorce is used by couples who are not able to independently resolve all their marital issues. Instead, you will have to undergo litigation, where a New York judge will analyze bank statements and other important documents to finalize your settlement agreement on your and your spouse’s behalf.

Should I cite fault or no-fault grounds in my divorce?

In New York State, you and your spouse can either cite fault or no-fault grounds when filing for divorce. If either you or your spouse cites fault grounds, you are essentially placing blame on the other for the ultimate breakdown of your marriage. Examples of fault grounds that are commonly cited in New York divorces include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Adultery.
  • Extreme cruelty.
  • Abandonment for at least one year.
  • Institutionalization for a given period.
  • Imprisonment for a given period.

But if either you or your spouse cite no-fault grounds, you are declaring an “irretrievable breakdown for a period of six months or more prior to the commencement of the action for divorce.” So, no blame is placed, and rather, you and your spouse mutually believe that your marriage cannot be fixed.

If you wish to successfully enter and complete an uncontested divorce, it is recommended that you cite no-fault grounds. This is because if you opt to cite fault grounds, you open the door for your spouse to dispute your claim. Ultimately, this increases the likelihood that there will be a disagreement between you and your spouse, and this can become a contested divorce.

For additional guidance, do not hesitate in giving our firm a call today.


If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

We will tirelessly pursue a favorable resolution to your case

We offer aggressive and effective representation

We treat our clients with the compassion, patience, and respect that they deserve

We have more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to help you obtain the outcome you desire

We tailor our practice to the representation of your divorce case

What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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