A contested divorce is when the two parties do not agree about getting a divorce, or about the terms of the divorce. Usually the couple will disagree on matters such as child custody, financial support, and the distribution of marital assets. When these issues are contested, the court gets involved , and hearings are scheduled, ultimately leading to a trial.
Child custody issues are handled separately from marital and property issues, usually being channeled through a court mediator to assess the situation and help the couple come to an agreement on a parenting plan. Even if the couple cannot come to a complete agreement about child custody and visitation, writing down the issues that they agree upon helps ensure they are happier with the final custody order.