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How to Navigate: Contested and Uncontested Divorces

The decision to end a marriage isn't an easy one—regardless of the situation. There might be children involved, valuable assets, pets, or a business to consider.

Whether the process is complex or simple, divorced couples will tell you one thing is for certain—it's a battle best fought with a family law attorney at your side. A partner who:

  • Fights for you, not against you
  • Has your best interests in mind
  • Helps you get to the finish line
  • Understands your needs and goals

Because this life-changing decision heavily impacts both parties, a good attorney specializing in divorce litigation can oftentimes be the turning point for couples that can't reach an agreement or fair settlement as it relates to an equitable division of marital assets, among other things.

It's our firm's philosophy to understand and consider every detail of your unique situation so that we can deliver the best, custom solution.

As a closer look, in Massachusetts, there are two types of divorce cases that we focus on:

  • Uncontested Divorce
  • Contested Divorce

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An Uncontested Divorce—or ‘1A'—is typically the best-case scenario as it relates to the divorce process.

In this situation, you and your former spouse file for divorce and agree on every decision, from finances to custody to division of assets and more. And both sides cooperate, regardless of attorney involvement.

There's little conflict or back and forth with a rather straightforward outcome. And with this, Uncontested Divorces often cost less—in both time and money.


  • Documents are signed, filed, and delivered to the Courts for review and approval
  • The Court will schedule a hearing to further discuss the signed agreement
  • Should the Court consider the agreement properly executed, fair and equitable—the judge will provide sign-off

Couples typically solicit the expertise of our team to help check all of the right boxes and ensure the paperwork is completed and filed properly so your case has a better chance of passing through the System without error. You want to make sure your time and effort is well-spent and most importantly, accurate. 

What is a Contested Divorce?

The alternative to an Uncontested Divorce is a Contested Divorce.

A Contested Divorce—or ‘1B'—is the result of two parties unable to reach an amicable solution or agreement. These cases are typically more complex, time-intensive and costly the longer they go on.

Conflict on both sides adds to sources of contention preventing a resolution. These might include:

  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Division of marital assets including home, finances, properties, and so forth

When faced with this situation, clients hire our team of family law attorneys to represent them and assist with mediation to work through barriers preventing a final resolution and ultimately, a settlement beneficial to both sides.

Know that if this is your specific situation, it's a step-by-step process that requires consistency, patience, and sound decision-making to reach an end goal.

How Do I Move Forward?

Whatever the scenario or issues we face together as your partner, our team will take a holistic approach to your case, from goals to needs to your specific financial situation.

Need answers on your divorce? Call any one of our team of experts with the Law Offices of Matthew T. Desrochers at 781-279-1822. We're not here to sell, but offer you the right guidance based on your unique situation.

The Law Offices of Matthew T. Desrochers provides services to the following counties—Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex.