Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. This means that if you would like a divorce, you may only cite that irreconcilable differences led to the breakdown of your marriage. Furthermore, at least you or your spouse must meet the residency requirement — one of you must be a resident of the state for 180 days prior to filing.

Depending on whether you and your spouse are able to resolve issues such as the distribution of assets and property, spousal support, child support, and child custody, your divorce may be contested or uncontested.

However, every marriage is different and what works for others may not be appropriate for your situation. Regardless of how you intend on ending your marriage, you should seek legal assistance. In some cases, a divorce may start out uncontested and then a disagreement down the road leads to litigation. Even in uncontested divorces, some people choose to have attorneys to ensure their rights are protected.

Following are some of the differences between contested and uncontested divorce:

Uncontested divorce

  • Is usually concluded within a few months
  • Does not involve litigation
  • Is less expensive than contested divorce

Contested divorce

  • Can take several months or longer
  • Generally involves litigation
  • Can be useful in resolving complex situations

In a perfect world, no one would divorce and if they did, they would choose an uncontested divorce. Yet in reality, sometimes discussion and cooperation prove futile. As your marriage comes to an end, you and your spouse may have differing and steadfast opinions about how your union should be dissolved.  If your separation involves high financial stakes and technical legal procedures or a heated dispute over child custody, be prepared for a contested divorce and consult with an experienced attorney immediately.

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