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Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Arizona: Which is Right for You?

Posted By Legal Team | May 10 2023 | Divorce

Deciding to divorce is the first of many decisions to make when a marriage ends. Your current relationship with your spouse and how well you communicate and reach a consensus will determine the divorce proceeding you will pursue. In Arizona, couples can seek a contested or uncontested divorce.

Questions can arise even in the most agreeable circumstances, and direction is needed. Working with a family law attorney with experience in divorce proceedings can guide you through the legal divorce process and help make a difficult journey more navigable.

Divorce in Arizona

Becoming familiar with the types of divorce in Arizona can help you determine which path is best for you. It may seem like a better option to rush through the process. But it is crucial to be proactive in securing a financially stable future.

Contested Divorce

The partners in a marriage may disagree on one or more critical elements in the dissolution of the union, such as child custody or who will reside in the family’s primary home. If efforts to communicate come to a dead end, then a contested divorce is the path to dissolving the marriage. Contested divorces are determined in a divorce trial and heard by a judge in court.

Uncontested Divorce

When partners can mutually agree on all conditions of the dissolution of the marriage, they can work together to complete the necessary paperwork and file it with the courts but finalize the divorce without having to participate in a divorce trial. This type of divorce is an uncontested divorce.


If contested divorce seems like the only option, both partners may consider mediation as a resource to help settle disputed decisions. Mediation allows an impartial party to help work through the decision-making process and avoid a lengthy court battle. Mediation can occur at any point in the divorce process, including after the divorce, and is often required when children are involved.

Choosing Contested or Uncontested Divorce in Arizona

The correct path in divorce will depend on your situation. What are the factors for pursuing either type of divorce, what are the disadvantages, and which option is right for you?

Contested Divorce

Reasons for choosing a contested divorce are:

  • A couple cannot agree on the decisions involving their children, including custody, child support, and visitation schedules.
  • The terms for alimony cannot be reached.
  • The partners are unable to agree on the division of marital property.
  • One of the spouses is the victim of domestic violence.
  • Addiction plays a role in the safety of children when visiting with a parent.
  • Your marriage is considered high-net-worth, and the division of assets is complex.

Contested divorces will take longer than uncontested divorces, and a judge makes critical decisions in the dissolution of the marriage. The length of time to litigate the divorce can lead to costlier proceedings.

Uncontested Divorce

Couples often opt for an uncontested divorce to:

  • Save time
  • Save money by avoiding lengthy litigation
  • Have a say in the decisions of the divorce

Couples that are childless or have fewer assets to divide often opt for an uncontested divorce. Couples can divorce without the representation of a lawyer, but legal guidance assures that your best interests are represented.

Experienced Divorce Resolution Attorney in Arizona

Even agreeable couples face challenges when the dissolution of a marriage is inevitable. Compassionate representation can also stand aggressively to the challenges in divorce cases. You can always trust the guidance and experience of the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau.

A promising future can be found after divorce. Your representation matters.

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