In Colombia, there are different ways to carry out the divorce process. Two of the most common options are uncontested divorce and contentious divorce. These two approaches represent different dynamics and pose different legal and emotional challenges for the parties involved. This essay will explore the fundamental differences between divorce by mutual consent and contentious divorce in the Colombian legal context.
A contentious divorce is one in which there is no agreement between the spouses as to the terms of the separation. In this case, a judicial process is used to resolve the differences and make decisions on aspects such as child custody, distribution of assets and payment of alimony. The main characteristics of contentious divorce are:
- Conflicts and disagreements: the spouses do not agree on the terms of the separation and, therefore, the intervention of a judge is required to make decisions.
- Increased time and costs: the judicial process can be longer and more costly due to the need to gather evidence, attend hearings and wait for the judge’s decision.
- Intervention of the judge: the judge has the authority to make decisions on the litigious aspects of the divorce, based on the evidence presented by both parties.
- Representation: eachspouse must have a lawyer.
- Time: is a longer process and contains more formalities, so it can take months.
Divorce by mutual consent
Divorce by mutual consent, as the name implies, occurs when the spouses agree to end the marriage and have reached a consensus as to the terms of the separation. The main characteristics of divorce by mutual consent are:
- Prior agreement: the spouses have reached an agreement on aspects such as child custody, division of property and alimony, among others.
- Faster and more economical process: as there is consensus between the parties, the divorce process is more agile and usually requires less economic resources.
- Involvement of a notary: in the case of divorce by mutual consent, the spouses may go to a notary to formalize the agreement and obtain the divorce decree.
- Judicial intervention: in this type of divorce, the judge’s intervention is limited, since the spouses have previously agreed on the terms of the separation.
- Representation: it is possible for the procedure to be carried out by a single lawyer.
- Time: tit is a divorce that can be carried out in an agile and simple way, so the stipulated time that the process can last is 1 month.
The main difference between contentious divorce and uncontested divorce lies in the level of agreement between the spouses. While in contentious divorce there are disagreements and a judicial process is required to resolve them, in uncontested divorce the spouses have reached a consensus on the terms of the separation, which facilitates and expedites the divorce process. However, there are also other important differentiating factors.