Oregon Divorce: Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Dissolution

Every divorce is different. Some couples seek out a divorce from a place of understanding that their relationship no longer works and that it is in everybody’s best interests to move on. Other divorces are much more emotional and contentious, resulting from situations such as infidelity or extreme disagreements within the relationship.

Depending on the circumstances, there are two different ways that you can approach a divorce in the State of Oregon. Known as a “dissolution of marriage,” you may proceed with a contested or uncontested divorce.

There are some key differences between these two paths to divorce which will have a major impact on your decision to utilize one route over the other.

Generally, an uncontested divorce is exactly what it sounds like. It is utilized in situations where the couple more or less agrees on all the key issues that must be decided in a divorce, such as finances, division of assets and property, and issues related to the children. If one spouse contests the desires of the other spouse with regard to these decisions, they will likely need to move forward with a contested divorce.

An uncontested divorce is a much more efficient, simplified, and often more cost-effective process than a contested divorce. In an uncontested dissolution, the court hearing can be entirely waived if the couple can agree on all of the key issues. The couple will participate in attorney-guided and advised negotiations to make determinations about assets and finances, as well as parental rights.

A contested divorce, on the other hand, uses arguments, testimony, and evidence presented in a courtroom to resolve conflicts and complete the process. A judge will make the final decisions with regard to the aforementioned monetary and parental issues.

Both parties will be pursuing their own objectives, and as the name implies, it is generally a more contentious process than an uncontested divorce.

Another major difference between the two types of divorce is the level of privacy. Since court proceedings are public record, the details of a contested divorce will be available to nearly anyone, while the details of an uncontested divorce generally remain private. Avoiding court also generally leads to lower costs for uncontested divorces.

Neither path to divorce is necessarily better than the other. While it is always preferable to avoid court when possible, sometimes it is necessary in order to achieve what you believe is best for your children and your future. If you are contemplating a divorce, please contact Pacific Cascade Law to arrange a free initial phone consultation to discuss your situation and whether a contested or uncontested divorce would be best for you and your family.