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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Adversarial Divorce

Term Definition Adversarial Divorce - a divorce where each spouse is unable to come to any agreement.
Application in Divorce There are two types of divorces - adversarial and nonadversarial. An adversarial divorce (contested) is one in which the spouses cannot come to an agreement on issues such as, but not limited to, the division of property, division of debts, spousal support, child support, visitation, and custody.

In a nonadversarial divorce (uncontested divorce), the spouses are able to agree on all the issues and do not have the need to have a judge rule on how to divide property or establish orders regarding spousal support, child support or custody. In general, divorces that are nonadversarial cost less, are less emotional, and move through the court system faster.

Many spouses will start the divorce process in an adversarial position and then, before the actual trial or hearing date, arrive at an agreement on the disputed issues. The substantial advantage of a divorce settlement is that there are no surprises because both have agreed to it and can live with it. Both spouses avoid the trench warfare of litigation.

Settlements are in writing and a legally binding agreement signed by each spouse.

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