One or both spouses must disagree with the divorce or with the terms of the divorce for a divorce to be contested.

Contested divorces are fairly common. Both spouses must agree on many important issues such as the parenting plan, the division of property, and child support for a divorce to be granted. Not surprisingly, spouses often disagree over these issues either in full or partially. You may not realize this, but divorce is full of details. You will need to agree on details about how your valuables will be distributed, who will take what debts, and how you will share parenting responsibilities in your separation agreement. Many couples find themselves in a contested divorce when they cannot agree on all these important details. You also must file for a contested divorce if you are using one of the fault grounds for divorce. If you and your spouse are using the no-fault ground for divorce and you agree on everything, you can file for an uncontested divorce.

You can take a contested divorce to court, but litigation can be costly and put undue stress on you and your family. It will also position you and your spouse against each other, and this can breed more disagreement.  If you are unable to agree on all the terms of your divorce with your spouse, you may want to try divorce mediation to negotiate an agreement over the contested issues on your own. If you and your spouse can work out a separation agreement in mediation, you can file your divorce as uncontested, saving you the cost and stress of litigation.

Contested divorces tend to be complex. Speak with a divorce mediator about your case if your divorce is contested and you want to explore mediation as an option. An experienced mediator can help you and your spouse draft a separation agreement so you can file your divorce as uncontested. Your mediator can also help you draft a separation agreement to submit to the court. It is important to note that you can’t disagree with the divorce itself. You can disagree with the terms of the divorce, but you cannot refuse to give your spouse a divorce.

Do you have questions about how to handle a contested divorce?

Mediation Advantage Services can help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help ensure your divorce mediation is amicable and effective, helping preserve your peace of mind. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 466-4734, fill out our online form, or email us at today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.