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Understanding how uncontested divorces work

| Jan 11, 2021 | Family Law

Even if you want to end your marriage, you may want to do so in the most amicable and efficient manner possible. You and your spouse may not harbor any ill feelings toward each other, and as a result, would prefer to resolve your divorce outside the courtroom. So long as you two agree on major issues, you may be able to file an uncontested divorce. Before you proceed with one, it is important to understand how they work and who they are appropriate for.

How uncontested divorces differ from contested divorces

Couples who go through contested divorces usually disagree about one or more major issues in their case, being alimony, child custody, child support and property division. Those who pursue uncontested divorces, though, tend to agree about most of or all these issues. Yet, you and your spouse may have minor disagreements about one or two of them. In this case, you may still be able to pursue an uncontested divorce if you can communicate about your differences and work together to reach consensus.

One possible benefit of an uncontested divorce is that it will likely save you time and money. Contested divorces often require numerous hearings to resolve major issues. As a result, the parties involved often rack up hefty court and legal fees. You will still need to pay attorney’s fees and a filing fee in an uncontested divorce. Yet, you will free up time and funds by working out important issues with your spouse, rather than having a judge decide them for you. And you will likely be able to avoid the courtroom altogether until you submit your final settlement agreement.

Who uncontested divorces make sense for

An uncontested divorce could make sense for you and your spouse if you agree on most or all the important matters related to your split. It also helps if you two still have a baseline level of respect for each other. Yet, even if your marriage was tense or difficult, you and your spouse could still pursue an uncontested divorce, especially if your union lasted for a short time and you two have few assets to divide. Yet, you will need to pursue a contested divorce if you are unable or unwilling to work out an agreement together. And if there is a history of abuse in your marriage, an uncontested divorce may be both inappropriate and unsafe.

While divorce is difficult for anyone who goes through it, keeping yours uncontested will likely save you time, money and energy. An attorney can help you understand if an uncontested divorce is appropriate in your circumstances.