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A Family Law Firm
  • Deena Soliman Braun

Understanding the Differences Between Contested and Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage in Florida

Navigating the dissolution of marriage can be challenging, and understanding the differences between a contested and uncontested divorce in Florida is crucial for anyone going through this process. Knowing what to expect can help you make informed decisions and reduce stress during this difficult time. In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between contested and uncontested divorces in Florida, along with some essential keywords for those seeking information online.

What is an Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage in Florida?

An uncontested dissolution of marriage occurs when both spouses agree on all major issues related to their divorce. This typically includes:

  • Division of property and assets

  • Alimony or spousal support

  • Child custody and visitation

  • Child support

When both parties are in agreement, the process is generally faster, less expensive, and less stressful. Here are the key steps involved in an uncontested divorce in Florida:

  1. Filing the Petition: One spouse (the petitioner) files a petition for dissolution of marriage with the local family court.

  2. Response and Agreement: The other spouse (the respondent) agrees to the terms and signs the necessary paperwork.

  3. Court Approval: The court reviews the agreement to ensure it is fair and equitable. If everything is in order, the judge grants the divorce.

Uncontested divorces can often be completed with only one court appearance, making it a convenient option for couples who can work together amicably.

What is a Contested Dissolution of Marriage in Florida?

A contested dissolution of marriage occurs when the spouses cannot agree on one or more key issues. This type of divorce is typically more complex and can involve several steps, including:

  1. Filing the Petition: As with an uncontested divorce, one spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage.

  2. Response and Disputes: The other spouse responds to the petition, and the disagreements are outlined.

  3. Discovery Process: Both parties gather and exchange information and evidence relevant to their disputes. This can include financial records, property appraisals, and more.

  4. Mediation: The court may require mediation to help the parties reach a settlement. If mediation is unsuccessful, the case proceeds to trial.

  5. Trial: During the trial, both spouses present their cases to a judge, who makes the final decisions on disputed issues.

Contested divorces can be lengthy and costly, often requiring the involvement of attorneys, expert witnesses, and significant court time.

Key Differences Between Contested and Uncontested Divorces

  1. Time and Cost: Uncontested divorces are generally faster and less expensive than contested divorces. The lack of disputes reduces the need for lengthy legal procedures and court appearances.

  2. Complexity: Contested divorces involve more complex legal processes, including discovery, mediation, and potentially a trial. Uncontested divorces are simpler and more straightforward.

  3. Stress and Emotional Impact: Contested divorces can be emotionally draining due to the adversarial nature of the proceedings. Uncontested divorces tend to be less stressful as both parties are working together to reach an agreement.

  4. Court Involvement: In uncontested divorces, court involvement is minimal and may not require a court appearance. Contested divorces require multiple court hearings and significant judicial oversight.


Understanding the differences between contested and uncontested dissolutions of marriage in Florida is essential for anyone going through a divorce. While uncontested divorces offer a quicker, less expensive, and less stressful path, contested divorces provide a structured way to resolve disputes when agreements cannot be reached. By knowing what to expect and using the right resources, you can navigate your divorce more effectively and with greater peace of mind.

Difference between contested and uncontested dissolution in Florida
Dissolution of Marriage


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