Generally speaking, there are two different types of divorces that you can get. Deciding between the two depends a lot on the circumstances of your case and the relationship between you and your spouse.
Matters like property division, child support, child custody, visitation rights, and spousal support are often the things that spouses will disagree on, which will bring your case before a judge. This situation shows the difference between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce.
It is important to note that an uncontested divorce is not equivalent to no issues that are disagreed upon. The real point of an uncontested divorce is that the spouses are able to work together, at least to the point where a judge does not need to be involved to decide for them. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses would meet with a divorce lawyer to go through the steps of their case, with equal and impactful input from both sides. This differs heavily from a contested divorce, wherein the spouses are often not able to come to an agreement on the main issues, and they require a judge to preside over the case and rule for them. To put it into simpler terms, the person who initially files for divorce will include the terms under which they would like to end the divorce, including things like child support amounts, distribution of assets, and the like. If the other spouse doesn’t agree with these terms, they are “contesting” the divorce under these terms. That is when it goes before a judge, who decides for them.
Because of the financial and emotional toll that courtroom divorces often impose on couples, many find it to be very beneficial to end their marriage through mediation, or an uncontested divorce. Not only is it much less expensive, but an uncontested divorce means the parties can avoid the drawn-out court procedure that comes with it. It is ultimately up to the spouses involved in the divorce to decide whether or not they can work amicably enough and come to enough of a consensus to have an uncontested divorce, or if it is the case that they are so far apart on the issues that a judge is required to come in and decide for them.