Contested means “argued” or “questioned.” In this instance, a contested divorce means that two people do not agree on one or more decisions related to their divorce. This might even mean one person wants to get divorced, but the other person doesn’t.

Because of this, the most significant difference between a contested and uncontested divorce is the time and money it takes to resolve the conflicts. As important decisions must be made to finalize a divorce, couples might disagree on asset and debt division, spousal or child support, custody, visitation, or many other matters.

By getting an attorney involved, we can deploy different techniques such as mediation to help you avoid unnecessary legal conflicts or turn a contested divorce into an uncontested divorce by working through disputes.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

When both spouses agree to dissolve their marriage and are agreeable to the divorce terms, including child custody, visitation schedules and rights, asset division, alimony, and other important decisions, this is considered an uncontested divorce.

In Nevada, an uncontested divorce—also known as a joint petition—is the quickest way to dissolve a marriage. From start to finish, an uncontested divorce can be over within one to three weeks. It can take slightly longer with more complex assets to divide, children, and other considerations.

To file for an uncontested divorce, you must be a resident for at least six weeks and be in mutual agreement regarding the breakup and assets and other decisions related to your marriage.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

A contested divorce is rarely over in less than three months. The longer both parties disagree on decisions, the longer the process. An attorney will attempt mediation and negotiating on matters to avoid a costly trial.

According to, there are several more steps to divorce proceedings before a contested divorce is resolved, including:

  • Deliver the divorce petition
  • Hire an attorney
  • Engage in divorce discovery or the information gathering process, including engaging witnesses and your spouse
  • Pre-trial motions and hearings
  • Settlement and negotiations
  • If negotiations fail, prepare for trial
  • Complete trial or file an appeal against the judge’s decisions if applicable

Our experienced attorneys will do everything in our power to protect you from unnecessary disputes.

Do I Have a Choice in a Contested or Uncontested Divorce?

Much like marriage, it takes two people to get divorced. Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, so you or your spouse only need to meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • You are incompatible
  • One of you has lived separately for more than one year
  • One spouse has been legally insane for at least two years before filing for divorce

While you can petition for divorce without your spouse agreeing to it, you will eventually have to come to terms with the decision and understand your finances, children, home, and other assets. If you suspect a challenging dissolution, it’s wise to consider an attorney from the start. It will save you time, frustration, and money in the long run.

Whether contested or uncontested divorce, our law firm can help you, and your spouse get on the same page and ensure your decisions are in the best interest of your children. To discuss your potential divorce case, schedule an initial consultation and speak with an experienced divorce attorney: (702) 935-4144.