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Divorce questions: What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce sounds like one spouse asks for a divorce and the other contests it, perhaps trying to block the divorce from taking place. However, that's not what it means under modern divorce laws. With the shift to no-fault divorce, no one has to prove that the legal split is needed, and it's far easier to get a divorce than it may have been in the past.

You can even do it without your spouse's consent. If he or she fails to respond to the divorce filing, that is known as a default. It can proceed without them and they can even lose some of the rights that they would otherwise have retained.

So, what is a contested divorce? These days, it usually means that people contest a certain part of the divorce itself. They do not agree on how everything should be done. The court has to step in and help them find a legal solution. Examples of things that they may not agree about include:

  • Who gets to have custody of the children
  • How that custody should be shared between the parents
  • Who has to pay child support
  • How much child support is needed
  • If one person should pay alimony
  • How the marital assets should get split up between the two parties

As you can see, they are not contesting the actual end of the marriage, but just the way it is handled. A complex case like this means it is time for you to look into all of the legal options you have and your rights under the current divorce laws in Pennsylvania.

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