An uncontested divorce refers to a situation where both spouses agree to terminate the marriage and are in agreement regarding the terms of the divorce settlement. Both parties agree to get divorced and on major issues such as child custody, division of property, spousal support (if applicable) and any other relevant matters related to the dissolution of their marriage.
Since both spouses are in agreement, there is no need for court intervention to settle disputes, although legal documentation is still required to formalize the agreement. This document is then submitted to the court. A judge reviews the document to make sure it is reasonable for both parties, especially concerning any children involved. It becomes an official court order after approval, finalizing the couple’s divorce.
What are the benefits?
Uncontested divorces are generally less stressful and less time-consuming compared to contested divorces. People do not have to spend as much time in court. The whole process can go more smoothly. Due to this, an uncontested divorce often finalizes more quickly than a contested divorce. If the couple’s priority is to get through the process as quickly as possible, an uncontested divorce is the way to do it. Additionally, in part because it takes less time, an uncontested divorce tends to be cheaper because each spouse needs fewer billable hours from an attorney to safeguard their interests.
Finally, couples that are able to avoid litigation also have more control over the terms of their divorce. If they go to court, the judge gets to decide the terms of the couple’s divorce order and the couple is required to follow it. But an uncontested divorce allows spouses to make the agreement themselves and the court ordinarily just has to approve it.
The legal side
This doesn’t mean that engaging a legal team won’t be necessary. The plan still has to get approved, so it’s often wise to have professionals review the terms, work out any missing details, prevent any pitfalls or future issues and finalize the settlement. It’s important for couples to know what steps to take as they move through this process of dividing assets, splitting up parenting time and otherwise safeguarding their interests. Especially when spouses have some disagreements to work through on the way to an agreement, seeking legal guidance is generally wise.