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What are the types of divorce, such as uncontested and contested?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Family Law

In Wisconsin, there are several types of divorce. These include uncontested, contested, default, summary and collaborative.

Each type has its own procedures and requirements.

Uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all issues. These issues include property division, child custody, child support and alimony. Because there is agreement, uncontested divorces are generally quicker and less expensive than other types of divorce. The couple submits a marital settlement agreement to the court, which outlines the terms of their divorce. If the court finds the agreement fair and reasonable, it will approve the divorce without the need for a trial.

Contested divorce

A contested divorce happens when the parties cannot agree on one or more key issues. These disputes may involve property division, child custody, child support or alimony. In a contested divorce, each party presents their case to the court. The judge then makes decisions on the disputed issues. This process can be lengthy, stressful and costly due to multiple court appearances and potentially lengthy trials. Contested divorces often take longer to resolve versus uncontested divorces.

Default divorce

A default divorce occurs when one spouse does not respond to the divorce petition. After the petition is filed, the non-responding spouse has a certain period to reply. If they do not respond within this time frame, the court may grant a default judgment. This means the court could approve the divorce based on the terms requested by the filing spouse. Default divorces can proceed quickly but may result in terms that are highly favorable to one spouse.

Summary divorce

Summary divorce is available to couples who meet specific criteria, such as a short marriage, no children and minimal property and debts. This type of divorce is streamlined and simplified, making it faster and less expensive. Couples who qualify can complete the process with minimal court involvement.

Collaborative divorce

In a collaborative divorce, both parties work together to resolve their issues without going to court. This type of divorce emphasizes cooperation and negotiation. The couple agrees to share information and work through their disagreements constructively. If successful, collaborative divorce can save time and reduce conflict.

In Wisconsin, understanding these different types of divorce can help couples choose the best path for their situation. Each type offers unique benefits and challenges. The right choice depends on the couple’s circumstances and their ability to reach agreements.