What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Edmonton?

If you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways in Edmonton, figuring out how to handle the divorce can be a bit confusing. With contested and uncontested divorces in Edmonton, It’s like having two paths in front of you, and which one you take depends on how much you and your spouse agree on things. 

Understanding these two types of divorces is like knowing which road to take – it can make the process smoother and less stressful. In this article, we’ll break down what uncontested and contested divorces mean, and how a Divorce Lawyer in Edmonton can help you make sense of it as you move forward.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

In an Uncontested Divorce, both you and your partner agree on everything important about the breakup. This includes:

  • Division of property: Figuring out who gets what – like the house, the money in the bank, and other assets you both own.
  • Dealing with debts: Deciding who’s responsible for any money you owe, even if it’s just one person’s debt.
  • Parenting time and decision-making responsibility: Planning out how you’ll share time with your children and make decisions regarding them.
  • Child support: Deciding whether the non-primary parent will give child support to the primary parent, and how much.
  • Spousal support: Figuring out if the higher-earning partner will support the other for a certain time.

When you and your spouse can agree on all these things, you usually don’t have to go through processes like mediation or having a judge decide. You can amicably resolve your case with an uncontested Divorce Lawyer in Edmonton. That’s why uncontested divorces are often quicker and less complicated than contested divorces.

What is a Contested Divorce?

In a contested divorce, both partners do not agree on one or more legal matters of the divorce process. As a result, they need someone to intervene and sort out their disagreements.

Here are some processes that can take place in a contested divorce: 

  • Mediation: A meeting where both partners, along with a neutral mediator, try to talk through their differences and find a middle ground. There is also an option to have a lawyer assisted mediation.
  • Arbitration: It’s similar to mediation but instead of just talking, the couple hires a professional arbitrator to make decisions for them. It’s private and avoids going to court.
  • Divorce Trial: If mediation and arbitration don’t work, the case might end up in court. A judge listens to both sides, examines all the circumstances, and makes the final decisions.

Many couples try mediation or arbitration first to avoid going to court. Sometimes, the court might even suggest one or both of these resolution methods.

However, if none of these work, the case will go to trial where a judge steps in to make the final decision.

What is a Contested Divorce?

Differences Between an Uncontested and Contested Divorce

When choosing a divorce path, it’s important to know the basic differences between uncontested and contested divorces. This helps you decide the best course of action for you and your spouse.

  1. Agreement vs. Disagreement

The main difference is whether you and your ex can find common ground. Uncontested divorce implies agreement, while contested implies disagreements that might require legal intervention.

  1. Speed and Stress

Uncontested divorces are typically quicker and less stressful since both parties are on the same page. In contrast, contested divorces can be more prolonged and emotionally charged, especially when decisions are left to a judge.

  1. Cost

Uncontested divorces are often more cost-effective as they involve less time spent in court. Uncontested Divorce Lawyers in Edmonton typically charge between $1,500 and $2,000, depending on the complexity of the case and the lawyer’s rates. On the other hand, contested divorces tend to be pricier, ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, due to legal fees and court expenses. 


Divorce is never easy, but knowing the difference between contested and uncontested divorce can help you choose the right path. Whether you’re nodding in agreement or butting heads in disagreement, a Family Lawyer in Edmonton can be your ally.

For expert advice and support, reach out to KBL Law, your trusted Divorce Lawyers in Edmonton. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with qualified family lawyers who can help protect your rights.

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