An uncontested divorce is where both spouses mutually agree to divorce. This can save time and money. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses mutually agree on all issues related to the divorce such as child custody & support, property division and alimony.
To be eligible, the spouses must have an agreement on all the basic divorce issues – child custody & support, property division and alimony. The process starts with the filing of the petition in the court. The entire process is streamlined and generally property and child custody information is submitted along with the petition. After the petition is filed, it must be served on the other spouse.
If the other spouse consents to the divorce or does not appear despite service as per the state law, the court will grant a divorce. However if the other spouse appears and objects to the petition, it will no longer be an uncontested divorce.
The main advantage of an uncontested divorce is that it reduces the cost of divorce. Although you can get go alone without an attorney, it is advisable to hire one. The process is streamlined and the legal costs are lower. Even attorneys charge less for uncontested divorces.
The entire process is quick and the divorce is granted once the waiting period required by the state law is over. This allows the spouses to begin their new lives and move on without having to fight the divorce in a court for many years.
An uncontested divorce offer very little scope for conflict between the spouses. Since the process is short and the spouses have already agreed on the basic issues of the divorce, the opportunities for conflict are limited.
Generally, information about a divorce proceeding is open to public. Your personal information as well as any allegations made by your spouse can be seen by others. If you want to restrict access to your divorce records, you must request for sealing of the record which is a very difficult process. In an uncontested divorce, there are no allegations made and no information exchanged and hence there is very little information available to the public.
If there are children from the marriage or complex financial or property holdings, you should consider whether uncontested divorce is your best option. For the sake of speed and cost, you may have to trade your property or custodial rights.
You must file additional papers about child custody arrangements if you are seeking uncontested divorces. In some states couples with children cannot apply for an uncontested divorce. Regular divorce proceedings allow for legal resolution of child custody issues.
There are many complex issues in a divorce – child custody & support, property division, alimony. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you get the best results in a cost effective manner.