Michael E. Golub, P.A.

The difference between mediation and uncontested divorce

As you and your spouse face divorce, you both know you want to take an approach that will have the most benefits to your finances and emotional health. You want to get the process over with as easily and quickly as possible.

Two choices you may have in your approach are a mediated divorce and an uncontested divorce. Both avoid litigation, save time and money and keep conflict in check. Despite the similar advantages, they are not the same thing. Understanding the differences between them can help you decide which one is the right fit for your situation.

What is an uncontested divorce?

To contest something means to dispute or litigate it. Therefore, an uncontested divorce is one in which there is no contention over the matter. However, it differs from mediation in that you both agree to the terms of your divorce on your own before seeing any legal representatives or filing in Florida court. As you can imagine, even if you and your spouse are amicable, chances are rare that you have nothing you disagree on. This method is likelier for those with no children or assets.

What is mediation?

Mediation, too, keeps you out of court and lets you determine your divorce agreement. Unlike an uncontested divorce, however, the process of coming to these terms involves the assistance of a neutral third-party, the mediator. This person encourages communication and cooperation and may offer recommendations. However, mediators lack the authority to coerce or enforce anything. Only once you two and the judge sign the agreement does it become legally binding.

If the mediation process is unsuccessful, you may have to turn to litigation. That does not mean things have to become nasty. It just means the judge will make the final decision. However, this only applies to the areas in which you two could not agree, not to the whole divorce case. Mediation can still be helpful even if you have to go to court for some matters.

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