A contested custody case is a lawsuit regarding the conservatorship (decision making), possession and financial support of children in which the parents (or people wanting to act as parents) cannot reach an agreement on how the case should be resolved.

A case may start out as contested, but settle through negotiation or mediation after the parties involved have been advised by their lawyers, and have spent time working through the issues to reach an agreement on all terms.

A case may start out as “uncontested” where the parties think they are on the same page regarding the terms of a final agreement, only to realize as they work through the details with their lawyers, that they are not in agreement.

A contested custody case will require a hearing or trial before the court, after which the Judge will issue a ruling based on the evidence presented.