Uncontested versus Contested Family Law Cases
Many people wonder if it is necessary to go to Court and fight over family law matters. Luckily, the law allows for litigants to come to an agreement without the need for court intervention. If you can resolve your case in an uncontested setting, it will typically save you money and time. In general, “uncontested” means that no one is fighting over anything and that all issues have already been resolved by the agreement of the parties. If a case is resolved in this fashion, it is not necessary to attend a trial or even a mediation session. Rather, the uncontested paperwork can be drawn up by an attorney, signed by both parties, and submitted to the Court for signature (in some instances, attendance at a brief final hearing may be necessary, such as when finalizing a divorce).
It is a good idea to involve lawyers in an uncontested matter to at least review the proposed agreement; in this way, potential problem areas may be discovered, or items left out and overlooked may be uncovered. Once both parties sign an agreement, it is very difficult to overturn that agreement.
If parties cannot agree on the issues in dispute before filing, then the matter will have to be contested. Discovery will have to occur, as well as mediation and potentially a trial. Litigating a contested family law case can be cost-intensive and stressful, which is why it is always worth trying to find out up front if a case can be resolved before filing by agreement. Of course, the Courts are here to assist people in resolving disputes, so there is no shame in having to go to Court.
If you do find yourself in a position where you will be litigating a family law case, it is vitally important to have an attorney you trust by your side. An attorney can guide you through the often-confusing laws in Florida and can offer advice and guidance that you would not receive from anyone else.