An uncontested divorce takes place when the two divorcing parties agree on an overall resolution in matters such as child custody, child support, visitation rights, alimony, division of debt, and division of property and assets. If even one of these factors cannot be resolved between the divorcees, then the divorce is contested and a court will decide the outcome. If the divorce is contested, you may want to consider hiring a knowledgeable divorce attorney, especially if your spouse has already done so.
Uncontested divorce is the quickest, most efficient and least messy route for spouses going through divorce. In addition, it’s the most common way that couples get divorced in the U.S. today. The civil nature of uncontested divorce can offer both spouses some peace of mind, rather than duking it out in court angrily and aggressively. Even some couples who have issues with one another still opt for an uncontested divorce, often with a mediator or arbitrator to aid in the proceedings. While this type of divorce is not perfect for all situations, it certainly allows both parties to bypass some time, pain, and animosity.
If you and your spouse have children, your uncontested divorce does have to make an appearance in court to determine child custody and/or child support terms. The reason for this is so the court can guarantee that a decision is made purely for the best interest of the child.
The Basic Facts
One of the many benefits to an uncontested divorce is the expedited amount of time it takes to finalize the entire process. Contested divorce proceedings can be a huge pain in the neck, while uncontested divorce proceedings can be finalized in as little as 31 days’ time (depending on your state’s court calendars). Another factor that could potentially slow the proceedings down is if your children are minors.
All issue resolution must be set forth in writing in a master document called the Settlement Agreement, and it must be signed by both parties. That document is filed along with the Complaint for Divorce and the Acknowledgement of Service, which states that the defendant received the Complaint.
Do I still need a lawyer for uncontested divorce?
Although the nature of uncontested divorce is meant to be simple and civil, it is always best to be prepared for the worst. A skillful divorce attorney can first ensure that nothing in the Settlement Agreement or the Complaint for Divorce can jeopardize your best interests, and then provide legal court assistance if the uncontested divorce changes at any point to contested.