Divorce is a typically shorter and easier process if both parties agree on the reason and necessity for the dissolution, but reality is not always so neat and tidy. Divorce in New York allows for both of these occurrences through either an uncontested or a contested divorce. Although the outcome of both divorce types are the same, the path to get there can be somewhat different.
A divorce is considered contested if the parties do not agree with one another on the grounds for divorce, if there is disagreement concerning issues like asset division or if one party simply does not actually want to get divorced. Contested divorces almost always require that couples go before a judge to explain the disagreement and the reasoning behind it. Ultimately, the judge gets the final say in a contested divorce, although processes such as mediation can sometimes help circumvent the need to head to court.
An uncontested divorce is defined as one in which both spouses agree on the grounds, want to divorce and have no disagreements about asset division, child custody or other common divorce-related issues. In this type of divorce, many divorcing couples are able to reach an agreeable divorce settlement with the proper guidance from their respective legal counsels, and intervention is typically not needed. However, many uncontested divorces still make use of the mediation process in order to settle perhaps one or two small disputes.
Whether a New York couple's divorce is contested or not, the end result is still the same -- a successfully completed divorce. While an uncontested divorce might move forward at a quicker pace than an uncontested one, in either case it is still important to take an adequate amount of time to survey all of the different factors that may affect a divorce as well as the future of both individuals. Especially in contested divorces, attempting to rush the process can result in further disagreements or even costly mistakes in the settlement.
Source: nycourts.gov, "Divorce Information & Frequently Asked Questions," Accessed on June 7, 2015