Family Law Experience You Can Trust

The Difference Between No Fault Contested vs. No Fault Uncontested Divorce In Georgia

by Sharon Jackson  on November 6, 2023 under ,

If you are divorcing in Georgia, there is a strong possibility that you have heard of the two main types of divorce: no-fault uncontested divorce vs. no-fault contested divorce. You may be curious about the differences between these two divorces and which is best for you and your situation. Finding out this information is an important part of the legal process. However, it is critical to speak to a professional attorney regarding these questions as each couple’s circumstances differ, meaning what may work best for other couples will likely not work for you.

Defining a Divorce

The American Bar Association defines a divorce as “a decree by a court that a valid marriage no longer exists.” This means that if you and your spouse decide that you are unhappy, no longer want to be married to one another and that the marriage is irreparable, you can choose to get a divorce. 

While it might sound like a simple process, divorces are one of the most challenging, stressful, and overwhelming processes individuals and couples can go through. The legal problems that arise are often complex and frustrating, and the couples getting divorced typically have strong emotions and feelings throughout the process. That said, you should never decide to go through this alone. Instead, consider hiring a Gwinnett County no-fault divorce attorney to ensure that you know and understand all legal terms and that your best interests are being kept in mind.

What is a No-Fault Contested Divorce?

A no-fault contested divorce typically means that a couple does not agree on the divorce and would like to dispute or challenge certain aspects of it. Some aspects commonly challenged in a divorce are division of assets, child custody, child support, visitations, distribution of property, alimony, etc. As a result, no-fault contested divorces are usually difficult and time-consuming, as both parties must agree on these important elements before the divorce can be final.

Are you ready to file for divorce in Georgia?
Call family law attorney Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC today to schedule a consultation.
(678) 436-3636

What is a No-Fault Uncontested Divorce?

A no-fault uncontested divorce is typically described as a divorce where both parties agree that they no longer want to be together, live together or be married to one another. The couple is easy to work with, the process isn’t complicated, and the court process is short. During an uncontested divorce, the couple usually has no hard feelings toward each other. It can work together to develop agreements regarding dividing property, distributing assets, child support, child custody, alimony, visitations, debt and more. Most of the time, couples will simply claim irreconcilable differences in the marriage, and the divorce will go through a short and quick process before the divorce is granted.

5 Differences Between No Fault Contested vs. No Fault Uncontested Divorce in Georgia

There are several differences between a no-fault contested divorce and a no-fault uncontested divorce. The following are five differences between these two types of divorces that you should know and be aware of if you are planning to divorce.

1. The Time That These Divorces Take

One of the main differences that a Gwinnett County no-fault divorce attorney will first point out to you is that the length of time that you can plan to spend in a no-fault uncontested divorce or a no-fault contested divorce is very different. Since a no-fault contested divorce means that the couple cannot easily agree on things, this type of divorce will likely take longer due to the constant back-and-forth arguments, bickering, and disagreements. Most couples can expect to spend more than one year going through the legal process of a contested divorce. However, on the other hand, a no-fault, uncontested divorce will typically be a lot quicker. The individuals ask for a divorce, claim irreconcilable differences, create agreements about important assets and properties, develop plans for their children, and the divorce is finalized.

2. The Legal Procedures

Another difference is the legal procedures the couple will be required to undergo. For example, a no-fault uncontested divorce will not go through a court trial hearing. Instead, the parties usually handle the divorce outside of court with mediation, collaborative divorce, or any other method that leaves the court out. However, in a no-fault contested divorce, spouses must undergo various legal procedures, such as a court trial hearing, the discovery process, subpoenas, etc. Therefore, if you go through a contested divorce process, you should be prepared for a long and typically complicated divorce with multiple legal procedures from beginning to end.

3. The Expenses

When it comes to the expenses of your divorce, you should expect to spend a lot more money on a contested divorce than an uncontested divorce. The reason for this is that contested divorces take longer, go through more legal procedures, and are more difficult to reach agreements. Therefore, contested divorces are often much more costly than uncontested divorces.

4. The Ability to Appeal

In a no-fault uncontested divorce, the couple typically agrees, consents and signs the various agreements with no problems. That said, they cannot appeal against the agreements that have been put in place. However, since uncontested divorces involve individuals willing to work together and develop agreements on their own or with the assistance of a divorce lawyer, they are typically satisfied with the divorce results and do not wish to appeal at all. Therefore, this is usually not a deal-breaker for couples wanting to go through a no-fault, uncontested divorce process.

However, it is important to remember that this does not prohibit ex-spouses who go through an uncontested divorce from ever making changes to agreements created during their divorce. The court is aware that things change over time, and allows individuals in a no-fault uncontested divorce to request changes or modifications to agreements that no longer fit their needs or desires. This is common regarding divorce agreements about child custody and child support.

5. Who Makes the Decisions

If you choose to go through a no-fault, uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will work with an attorney to make decisions. This simple process ensures that everyone is happy and accepts what they have agreed to. However, if you go through a no-fault contested divorce, the judge will decide for you and your spouse. Your attorney will work endlessly to represent you and explain what assets, properties, and overall outcome you need and deserve from the divorce. 

While it may sound easier and better to make the decisions yourselves, many couples cannot, making a contested divorce the better option for them. The judge’s focus will be to keep everything fair in the eyes of the law, which means that you should prepare for the possibility that your and your spouse’s wants may not be considered. For example, one spouse may have wanted to keep the primary residence property, while the other may have wanted the RV and vacation home. However, the judge may decide that the fairest solution is to sell all the properties and split the money equally.

How to Choose the Right Divorce Option for You

Choosing between a no-fault contested divorce and a no-fault uncontested divorce may be very tough. However, you can usually decide by asking yourself these questions:

  • Does my spouse and I agree or disagree on child custody and visitation?
  • Do we agree or disagree on child support?
  • Do we agree or disagree on the division of assets?
  • Does my spouse and I agree or disagree on spousal support or alimony?
  • Was there abuse or adultery involved in our marriage that could cause disagreements?
  • Was abandonment a factor in our marriage that could lead to disagreements?
  • Can we agree on how our marital estate and properties are distributed?
  • Is there anything that could arise that we may not agree on?
  • Is conflict high, or could it be a high-conflict divorce?

By asking yourself these questions, you may be able to develop a clear understanding of which divorce option is right for you if you know for a fact that you cannot agree on all terms of the divorce or even have the slightest feeling that you may not be able to agree, a no-fault contested divorce may be the best option for you. However, if you and your spouse get along for the most part and simply want an easy, clean-cut divorce with no serious legal hassles, you may decide to go with the no-fault, uncontested divorce option.

Call a Divorce Attorney in Gwinnett County Today

Georgia Family Law Attorney Sharon Jackson is committed to providing clients with the compassion, understanding, and empathy they need and deserve during a divorce. She is a Gwinnett County no-fault divorce attorney with the experience, knowledge, and skills to assess your situation and your relationship with your spouse to help you determine which type of divorce may be more beneficial to you. 

If you need a lawyer in Georgia who will help you navigate your divorce case, contact Divorce and Family Law Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC today. You can schedule your consultation with our firm by calling (678) 436-3636 or filling out our online contact form at your earliest convenience.

We look forward to meeting and speaking with you soon! 



Awards & Memberships Top Divorce Lawyer in Lawrenceville
We Need Your Vote! Best of GwinnettSuper Lawyers Sharon Jackson
Contact & Directions

Attorney Sharon Jackson LLC
175 Langley Drive, Suite A1
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Phone: (678) 909-4100

Get Directions
We Gladly Accept
we acceptPay Online
Search This Site

Copyright © 2024 Attorney Sharon Jackson, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Statement | Terms & Conditions