What is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

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Divorces can be complex and overwhelming. If you are going through a divorce, it is important that you learn about your options. Contact our firm today to determine whether you and your partner are in a contested or an uncontested divorce. Our experienced New York divorce attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that you and your future are protected.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce occurs when both spouses are unable to reach an agreement regarding the terms of their marital issues. In this case, both parties will not sign an agreement, which typically leaves many issues unresolved. In this type of divorce, a judge will be appointed to evaluate the disagreements and come to a settlement for the couple. The most common contested divorces involve issues concerning child support, child custody, division of assets, and alimony.

Another component of a contested divorce is the ability for a spouse to cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds before the proceeding begins. If there are no-fault grounds reported then neither spouse is holding the other accountable for the end of their marriage. If this is the case, court proceedings can commence right away. On the other hand, if a spouse does cite fault grounds, they are holding their partner’s actions liable for their divorce. Oftentimes, fault grounds are usually cited in the following conditions:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Imprisonment for 3 years or more in a row

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce refers to a situation in which both parties are in accordance with the terms and conditions of their marital agreement and are both in agreement with their divorce. This indicates that the most contested issues such as division of assets, alimony, child support, child custody, and child visitation have been solved.

An uncontested divorce is also generally known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” There are two varieties of irretrievable breakdowns:

  • 1A Divorce: When both spouses agree on their marital
  • issues.
    1B Divorce: When marital issues are left unresolved.

Uncontested divorces help both parties by providing them with the option of which method they would like to use for their divorce. For example, they may choose mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce instead of litigation. These options are all voluntary but can be much easier and favored both with time and finances for each party and their families.

If you are going through a divorce, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced New York divorce attorneys to discuss your options.


Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. 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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