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What’s the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Massachusetts?

The difference between a contested and uncontested divorce in Massachusetts is simple. A contested divorce means you and your spouse don’t agree on everything, while an uncontested divorce means there are no disagreements.

Regardless of the type, you typically need a family lawyer to negotiate and fight for you.

A divorce is simply the process of breaking up a marriage, splitting the assets, and dealing with the care of children, including child support.  The Probate Court accomplishes all of those tasks.

What are the issues in a divorce?

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Marital assets include everything that was acquired during the marriage.  This means your home, bank accounts, cars, retirement accounts, and any other property that either you or your spouse received during the marriage (with some exceptions).

Who has title to the property typically doesn’t matter.  Whether the house is in your name or your spouse’s name doesn’t mean it’s marital property or not.

Custody of your children means not only where your children will live but when the non-custodial will be allowed to have visiting time and the conditions.  It also includes who will pay for extraordinary expenses.  This includes medical expenses, educational expenses, and any other expenses that can come up.

The Probate Court will also decide child support obligations.  This means how much the non-custodial parent will pay to the custodial parent.  The child support guidelines govern the amount of child support.  However, your case could mean the child support guidelines are not followed.

If you agree on all of those issues, you should be able to accomplish an uncontested divorce.

A contested divorce means that the Court will decide those issues after a trial.  Because contested divorces involve much more work, they are much more expensive.

A contested divorce can start out contested and end up with an agreement, though.  Often, negotiating the terms of your divorce is the best option.

While the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce is simple, the costs can be much different.  If you need an experienced family lawyer in the Boston area, set up a consultation with me today.


Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

Boston Attorney

The court system is stressful, whether you’re being charged with a crime, being sued, suing someone, or fighting for your ability to stay and work in this country. You need someone who appreciates this and can dedicate the time not only to represent you effectively in court but to guide you through the process.

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