Divorce is hard enough without the added stress of lengthy wait times, burdensome costs and a court battle. It does not have to be that way. If you have done all that you can to salvage your marriage and there is no way to save it, uncontested divorce could be just right for you.
Who Can File for Uncontested Divorce?
Couples who have no assets, no property, no house, no joint debt, and no major child custody issues can pursue this alternative route. Uncontested divorce is available only for people who have not been married long, perhaps less than five years. The amount and duration of any spousal support, or alimony, and division of all debt and property are major issues to consider in getting any divorce. Uncontested divorce works best if each spouse can support themselves or are clearly capable of doing so.
Separate laws govern child custody and child support agreements, but if the two parents can agree on their own, then they save time and money with an uncontested divorce. These include agreeing on how they will share parenting responsibilities and parenting time as well as amount and duration of child support.
Couples with more complex situations can proceed without a lawyer in uncontested divorce but should do so with great caution, as all agreements related to child custody and support must be in accordance with state and federal laws governing them. It is wise to seek advice from an attorney who specializes in divorce law who can ensure your agreements are within the constraints of it and you are not being taken advantage of by your spouse.
Are Uncontested Divorce and No-fault Divorce the Same?
They are not the same. Uncontested means the spouses have discussed everything they need to discuss and settled all their issues and concerns. No-fault refers to the grounds or reason for a divorce. It means your marriage is so irretrievably broken that there is no hope of mending it. In no-fault divorce, you may or may not necessarily agree on everything. It is a good idea to have an attorney who can verify the information your spouse has given and check to see if check for any obvious undisclosed-to-you assets.
Uncontested divorce is simple, quick and the least expensive way to get divorced as long as it stays uncontested. Staying out of court is more private. This more cooperative approach keeps conflict to a minimum for all involved and gives a chance to end a marriage with dignity. It is cheaper because when you can reach agreement before filing.
Uncontested divorce is not for everyone and can be dangerous for some. It is a bad idea when spouses, for a variety of reasons, are not able to talk to each other. If one or both of you are adamant about keeping anything in particular or a larger share of your marital assets, this can lead to a disagreement too unmanageable for an uncontested divorce proceeding. Uncontested divorce is risky in situations of domestic violence where one spouse may be vulnerable or feel too intimidated to speak for themselves.
Costs and Wait Times
This is the quickest and least costly way to get a divorce. You must file in the state where one of you live and in some only have to pay filing fees. Prices vary widely by state and depend on whether or not you use an attorney, but tend to cost between a few hundred to only a couple thousand. When you and your spouse are in agreement about major issues involved in divorce, it saves time and money for each to have an attorney review the paperwork before it is finalized.