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Differences Between Uncontested & Contested Divorce Cases in Florida

Differences Between Uncontested & Contested Divorce Cases in Florida

October 2, 2023 / Divorce

When you get married, you hope and expect that your marriage will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. And if you are one of the many who need to dissolve a marriage in Florida, you will likely need to make some very emotional and difficult decisions. One of those decisions is what type of divorce you will have. If you and your spouse can agree to equitable terms, you could enjoy an uncontested divorce in Florida. One of the ways you can potentially make this happen is by consulting with experienced family law attorneys from Panella Law Firm. Call us at 407-233-1822 to speak to a divorce attorney in Florida today.

Uncontested Divorce in Florida

Marriage is a contract. This contract involves things like how you and your spouse handle finances and who can make end-of-life decisions for you. And like any contract, it can’t be easily broken. If you want to dissolve your marriage in Florida, you will need to make decisions regarding your assets and children. When both you and your spouse agree on the outcomes of these decisions, you have an uncontested divorce. Typically, this takes less time than a contested divorce, because it doesn’t require the intervention of the court.

Contested Divorce Cases in Florida

However, if there is even one aspect that you and your spouse can’t agree on, you have a contested divorce. This means that you will have to petition a court to get what you want from the divorce, and a judge will decide how to resolve any disputes. Contested divorces generally take longer than uncontested divorces, and it’s common for neither side to receive everything they want.

This type of divorce is also often much more costly. A contested divorce will require more work from your divorce attorney, especially if you and your spouse disagree on many points.

When to Hire a Divorce Attorney in Florida

Regardless of how friendly your divorce is, it’s important to hire a divorce lawyer as soon as possible when getting divorced. Divorce attorneys understand the intricacies of the legal process and can ensure dissolution of your marriage happens as efficiently as possible. Additionally, just because you and your spouse agree on how assets should be split or child custody should be arranged now, this doesn’t mean you’ll still agree a few years from now. If you don’t have experienced Child custody lawyers in Orlando ensuring that your divorce agreement is ironclad today, you could end up in court a few years down the road.

Divorce lawyers can also keep you from making mistakes. If you don’t understand the law, it is easy to leave out important details in your divorce. For example, you might have a joint will that doesn’t get invalidated as part of the divorce. This could create an unexpected and awkward situation decades later, something an Orlando divorce lawyer can help anticipate. It is better to invest in hiring a skilled Orlando divorce lawyer today than to spend potentially thousands of dollars fixing problems in the future.

And if your divorce isn’t friendly, then you need a divorce attorney in Florida even more. Florida divorce cases involve countless motions and responses. You will need to provide the opposing attorney with ample paperwork, like receipts and financial records. Trying to handle the case without representation can leave you liable to miss important deadlines. At best, this could delay your divorce. In the worst-case scenario, those mistakes could be held against you by the judge, and you could receive significantly fewer assets than you deserve or lose child custody.

Mediation Assistance from Panella Law Firm

Just because you and your spouse don’t agree on how to separate assets or arrange child custody, your case does not necessarily have to end up in court. If the demands of you and your spouse aren’t too far apart, you can attempt to mediate a fair divorce agreement.

While this process can take longer than an uncontested divorce, it can prevent the need for a trial. Family law attorneys in Orlando from Panella Law Firm will stand by your side, arguing your case throughout the mediation process. Typically, mediation is less contentious than going to court, because both sides are still negotiating. Our experienced lawyers know how to advocate on your behalf to help you receive what is most important to you. If we are successful, you will enjoy most of the benefits of an uncontested divorce in Florida, despite not being in full agreement with your spouse.

Other Key Differences Between Contested and Uncontested Divorces

While most clients care about time, cost, and outcome, other factors may determine whether they are willing to contest a divorce in court.


Due to Florida’s Sunshine Law, if you contest your divorce in court, it becomes a matter of public record. This means that everything you and your spouse say about each other will be easily accessible for anyone to discover. If privacy is of concern to you, this may be something you want to avoid, especially if you work in a job where your reputation is important.

Risk Avoidance

The judge in a divorce proceeding has very few limitations. For example, a judge could award sole custody of children, even if neither parent wants such an outcome. Similarly, the same judge could divide a business even if you and your spouse both want it to be kept intact. When you go to court, you take a much greater risk than when you negotiate with your partner.

Consult with Experienced Divorce Lawyers at Panella Law Firm

No one wants a marriage to end in divorce. But when a divorce does happen, consulting with a knowledgeable divorce attorney can make a substantial difference in the outcome.

Few decisions have a greater impact on your financial well-being and future than getting divorced. When you hire Panella Law Firm to represent you, our team will do everything in our power to make your divorce as smooth as possible and get you a fair result. If the end of your marriage is inevitable, call us today at 407-233-1822 to make an appointment.

Attorney Mike Panella

For Mike Panella, the concept of zealous advocacy developed at an early age – fueled by what he perceived to be an unjust resolution in a personal family legal matter. Mr. Panella would later attribute his passion to defend the rights of those who stand accused to those inequities in the legal system he observed, and considered unjust. Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mr. Panella served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties. Mr. Panella was undefeated at trial. [ Attorney Bio ]

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