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What Are The Differences Between A Contested And An Uncontested Divorce?


In Rhode Island, a contested divorce simply means that there are issues or disagreements related to the division of a parties’ marital estate (i.e., assets and debts) or what should happen with child custody or child placement. Most divorces start with at least one contested issue or disagreement, but the parties will eventually reach an agreement. When parties can agree on all matters in a divorce, the divorce will be considered uncontested. Approximately 90% of cases in Rhode Island are ultimately uncontested and therefore resolve without the need for the trial.

If despite the best efforts of their attorneys and an attempt at mediation parties cannot reach an agreement regarding these matters, then they will have to take the case to trial and relinquish control to a judge.

What Are Different Options For A Couple To Proceed With A Divorce In Rhode Island?

There are several options for a couple that wants to proceed with a divorce in Rhode Island. Depending on the circumstances, many elements might be involved, including a parenting schedule, the division of assets and debts, and spousal support or alimony. Prior to filing for divorce or hiring attorneys, parties could choose to seek an agreement through mediation. Another avenue would be to simply file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and have a meeting with both parties and their attorneys present. This meeting would be meant to help the parties reach an agreement on all aspects of the divorce so that it becomes uncontested and avoids the trial.

There are some cases that involve people who are very afraid or angry or who engage in domestic violence and substance abuse. If child abuse were involved, aggressive representation by a party’s attorneys would be needed in order to obtain relief on those matters during the pendency of the divorce.

Matters such as infidelity and unnecessary spending of marital assets could require more retention, more time in court and more aggressive litigation. Once the parties get to court, there is a second opportunity to have their case enter mediation in the courthouse. The courts now offer mediation and highly recommend that parties engage in mediation to try to resolve the outstanding issues prior to having to undergo an expensive trial.

For more information on contested divorce vs. uncontested divorce, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 401-589-5599 today.

Our senior attorney, Veronica Assalone, is proficient in Spanish, French, German, Italian and American Sign Language. Our office assistant speaks Spanish.