Thanks for visiting the The Wade Law Firm, PLLC blog! We hope you find this site to be a helpful source for learning a little more about the law that affects all of us from day to day. Today, we will focus on contested legal matters and uncontested legal matters. What’s the difference? What are some examples of each? If you have the option, how does proceeding one way or another affect your rights? Let’s find out.
The difference between contested and uncontested matters is fairly straightforward.
A contested legal matter is simply one in which there are two or more parties involved that are seeking different outcomes. Think of some of the more common scenarios that come to mind when you think about lawyers or courts of law. Perhaps you have a speeding ticket. You and the city, county, or state that gave you the ticket are involved in this case. You would like to prove your innocence. The jurisdiction responsible for the ticket would like to convict you and collect the speeding fine. This is a contested matter. Divorces are commonly contested matters as well, since the spouses often disagree on who is responsible for the divorce or how marital property and child custody should be divided. Simply, if you do not agree, your divorce is contested and the Judge will determine the outcome. Contested divorces, custody, visitation, child support, etc. result in more time, money, stress and most likely irreparable relationships.
But what about uncontested legal matters? Examples of uncontested matters are less likely to come to mind, but they are not uncommon. Maybe you or someone you know has decided to change their name at some point. This simple procedure requires activity by the courts, but no one is “contesting” anything. One party essentially asks the court for the name change, and that party usually receives it without any holdup. But more complex matters can sometimes proceed as uncontested cases. For example, divorces in Mississippi may be considered uncontested where both spouses agree on the terms of the divorce and division of marital property, child custody, etc. Generally, if everyone involved is on the same page, you may have an uncontested matter. The Wade Law Firm, PLLC specializes in uncontested legal matters.
So why do we need this distinction? For most people, the difference is noticed when it comes time to pay the bill for the legal services. As you may imagine, uncontested matters are almost always less expensive to resolve than contested matters. Think about it — if your attorney needs to argue for your interests against the interests of someone else, that will require far more time, paperwork, research, preparation, and court appearances. That means more significant bills should be expected.
The majority of people’s legal needs will involve contested cases even if the parties subsequently agree on a resolution. That’s right, what began as a contested matter may end uncontested with both parties agreeing on issues they could not reach consensus on initially. This is simply the nature of our system. However, if you have the option, tackling your legal needs as an uncontested matter is a good idea since it’s generally more economical and the outcome is predictable.
If you’re in need of uncontested legal representation, get in touch with The Wade Law Firm, PLLC in Central Mississippi. We are happy to help you determine your legal needs and achieve a positive, flat-fee solution.