Divorce proceedings are of many types and the smooth sailing of the process depends on how much the partners are willing to cooperate. Uncontested divorce is a type of divorce in which both parties come to terms with the agreement and the case doesn’t go to trial. You’re not required to hire an uncontested divorce attorney, but it helps if you hire one. Here is everything you need to know about it.
Step-By-Step Process Of An Uncontested Divorce
Here is what you can expect in a normal proceeding of an uncontested divorce.
Discuss It First
So, you’ve been having problems in paradise and you and your spouse are thinking about a divorce. First of all, you need to discuss it with your partner. The main gist of an uncontested divorce is the fact that all things are settled between the two of you without any involvement of courts and lawyers.
If you feel like you have a good relationship with your spouse and can talk things through maturely and not get volatile about it, then this divorce option is perfect for you. You guys need to be able to come to terms with the fact that this marriage is not working anymore and there’s only one way out, and that’s a divorce.
Get Everything Ready
Now that you’ve had the dreadful but important talk with your spouse and both of you are on the same page, regarding the divorce and have settled to the terms, now is the time for getting everything organized.
In some states, uncontested divorces are different and you actually need to go to a family attorney Fairfax VA to have the paperwork drawn out and there’s also a hearing in front of a judge to finalize the process.
So, you need to have things like these ready to go because you never know when you might need one document or more.
- Your marriage certificate
- Marital settlement agreement
- Child custody details
- Details of marital assets
It’s best to keep them organized in a filing folder.
File A Complaint
As mentioned previously, some states require you to file a complaint, as you would in a traditional divorce, but this can be different in different scenarios. You will need to file a complaint and state the grounds of the divorce in your statement.
You will also mention that this is an uncontested divorce and you and your partner are okay with the negotiations and have settled everything on your own. The court will, then, prepare a divorce settlement.
Have The Papers Served
After you’ve filed a complaint for divorce, the court will have the papers served to the other partner. Again, this seems like a traditional divorce process, but it’s less messy and nonvolatile. This procedure is just a necessary protocol and it needs to be done, according to some state laws.
The papers will be served and then the other party will have to respond within a certain time frame. Once the parties have done their tasks, the court will call them over for a final statement and that will be held in front of a judge.
Go For A Hearing
This hearing is very similar to a normal divorce proceeding, but the main difference between an uncontested and traditional hearing is that during an uncontested hearing, it’s basically the first and final hearing where the divorce will be made official and that’s pretty much it.
In traditional divorce hearings, there is a lot of back and forth because negotiations have to be made between the two parties, especially if they’re holding their ground and not cooperating with each other or the court. An uncontested divorce hearing is easy to proceed with and there’s little to no drama because everything is already done and over with.
Get Everything Finalized
Lastly, after the divorce hearing is done and the judge has finalized the divorce, it’s time to make an official document, where the marriage certificate will be nullified/dissolved and the divorce settlement is made official.
This marks the end of an uncontested divorce and now, you both can go your separate ways and settle other things behind the scenes like the division of the assets, who gets child custody, the alimony, who will pay the child support and how much will it be and all of the things in between.
Why Go With An Uncontested Divorce?
Here are some things that make an uncontested divorce a great option.
It Wraps Up Quickly
One of the biggest advantages of an uncontested divorce is the fact that it takes no time at all to completely wrap up. It can take anywhere between 1 to 6 months and that’s considered to be a quick process, as compared to the lengthy divorce proceedings that can take several months and even years to complete, especially if the parties are uncooperative and are using messy jabs to bring the other person down.
There’s no room for mess or ill will in an uncontested divorce because it literally settles everything behind the scenes and all you need to do is to get the process started.
It Is Less Expensive
An uncontested divorce doesn’t have any involvement of lawyers and legal officers, so it’s considered to be an inexpensive option. Traditional divorces can be financially draining because the lawyers can charge hefty fees that not a lot of people can afford, so they tend to look for other inexpensive divorce proceedings.
A great thing about uncontested divorces is that some states can also waive the filing fee if you’re unable to afford the complaint fee. This can be done by applying for a fee waiver request and the court, most of the time, accepts the request.
Leads To Cordial Relationships
Another huge advantage of an uncontested divorce is that partners can actually have healthy friendships after the separation. Since you’re both settling matters cordially and not airing each other’s dirty laundry, this is shown as a form of respect for the other person and it can solidify relationships.
Most people use divorce as a weapon to bring the other person down, humiliate them, and expose their weaknesses and mistakes. That can lead to souring of whatever respect is left between the two partners. So, if you guys can, always try to settle matters amicably and maturely, so that there’s no unwanted situation taking place.
It’s Super Easy
An uncontested divorce, unlike other divorces, is super easy to proceed with. They are not complicated at all and you can even take help from lawyers and other people who are knowledgeable in this field, but it’s something mandatory.
It’s a straight and simple process with no hidden facts and everything is pretty much transparent. The fact that it gets done in a relatively small time frame doesn’t hurt either, so that’s a plus.
If the two parties agree to cooperate without getting the law or court involved, then this makes the process so much easier. This is why uncontested divorces are a better option. But not all couples are willing to negotiate without a fight, so that can make things tricky. So, get some expert advice from an uncontested divorce lawyer Fairfax VA before beginning the process.