At the heart of every divorce are four issues:
Division of community and/or marital property
Division of debt
Custody of any children
Payment of child and/or spousal support
While every divorce has its disagreements, these disputes do not always have to be resolved in court. That’s the meaning behind uncontested divorce- one where spouses can reach a decision as to the terms of the divorce without going to trial. The process is simplest when a couple has no minor children and few assets, including no real property—such as homes or rental properties. Another important factor is if each spouse is self-supporting or clearly capable of easily becoming self-supporting.
Ending a marriage is never an easy process. However, it can be simpler in some situations when the spouses remain civil and are able to agree between themselves on how to divide marital assets, deal with custody and support issues, and any other matters. Uncontested divorce offers spouses the chance to end their marriage peacefully and with dignity. An uncontested divorce that stays uncontested is almost always the least expensive way of getting divorced. While attorney representation is advisable for any kind of divorce, the procedure includes lower court costs, as well as low attorney’s fees.
Uncontested divorce also allows many couples to get their divorce granted more quickly than in a contested divorce. With less legal work and fewer proceedings, it allows couples to move on with their lives more rapidly. Though any sort of divorce often involves conflict, processing with an uncontested divorce can lower the amount of conflict between the parting spouses by simply offering fewer opportunities for conflict to arise. With fewer demands for information going back and forth, and fewer proceedings to resolve disputed elements of the divorce, conflict can be minimized.
Unless filed under seal (which is very difficult), information made part of a divorce process becomes open to the public. This means that not only personal information one claims about the other, but also financial and other private information becomes matters of public record. Fortunately, in divorces that aren’t contested by either party, there’s a lot less information filed with the court that can go into the public record. This allows spouses who agree during a divorce to minimize the amount of private information made public.
Couples who have children, complicated or disputed property arrangements, or potential disagreement as to spousal support should strongly weigh whether uncontested divorce is appropriate or not. Divorce, whether contested or uncontested, can be emotionally traumatic for all parties. It is important that you try and contact an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the process, help protect your privacy, and ensure your financial security. A divorce lawyer is familiar with divorce papers and can ensure the papers are filed and served properly.