What is a Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested/Nominal
What is the difference between a contested divorce and a nominal or uncontested divorce:
A contested divorce happens when two parties cannot come to an agreement. Instead of agreeing to terms, the parties leave the decision up to a judge at a trial. At trial both parties testify and call witnesses. The judge decides all issues including: child custody, placement, visitation, and distribution of assets.
A nominal or uncontested divorce involves negotiation. Both parties need to agree on the terms of a settlement. A divorce settlement is called a marital settlement agreement (MSA). The marital settlement agreement lays out all terms of the divorce. A judge will listen to the parties at a nominal divorce hearing. The judge ensures the divorce terms are fair or equitable.
Property Settlement Agreements or Marital Settlement Agreements
Property Settlement Agreements or Marital Settlement Agreements are the result of negotiation between the parties.
At the divorce hearing the parties submit the Marital Settlement Agreement as an exhibit. The agreement becomes part of the court record.
Each party, and their attorneys, sign the agreements. The Marital Settlement Agreement can only be changed at some future date through further negotiation or agreement between the parties. It remains a contract that cannot be undone by one parties’ wishes or actions.
The Family Court has mediators on staff that can help couples work through issues. Parties can also seek out mediators on their own.
Mediators are skilled negotiators who work with both sides to reach common ground.
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody
Sole Custody means that one parent (or one caretaker) has the power to make decisions on behalf of a child or children.
Joint Custody means that decision making on behalf of a child or children is shared by more than one parent or caretaker.
Custody is not the same as Placement. Placement is where the child lives.
These distinctions are extremely important – and very complicated. Call us today to make sure you and your children get the representation they deserve.
Sole Placement vs. Shared Placement
Placement is where a child lives. Placement can be with one parent. Or Placement can be shared by more than one parent.
Placement also affects child support. In almost all cases, the party with Placement receives child support.
In Rhode Island Child Support is determined through a formula.
The formula involves income, insurance, child care costs, and other factors.
Child support usually goes to the party with Placement of the minor child or children.
Failure to pay child support can result in contempt of court or even arrest. Call today for more information.
Your family law case is our priority. We can help you resolve any family law matter.
Our attorneys handle divorce, separation, child custody, and child support cases in Family Court.
Family law matters are emotional and draining. We strive to make the process simple and understandable.
Our attorneys have helped clients resolve every type of family law matter:
- Custody and Placement
- Child Support
- Out of state divorce/custody agreements
- Restraining Orders
We work to negotiate successful results. However, our attorneys prepare every case as if it will be a trial.
We put you and your family first. Call today to move forward.