December 4, 2021
While divorce is often the culmination of many differences, disagreements, and arguments, it doesn’t have to be bitter and end in more of the same. It is possible for two spouses who are in the process of dissolving their marriage to work the critical matters out in a way that they both get their needs met. If they have children, they can also negotiate a settlement that is in their best interest. However, doing so may take the help of other professionals, such as an experienced divorce attorney.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces
During the divorce process, the spouses will need to divide their assets and responsibilities. This is no small feat.
They will need to determine:
- The division of their property, assets, and debts
- Alimony or spousal support/maintenance
- Child support
- Time-sharing and parenting
With such significant issues and many raw emotions, reaching agreements can be difficult or even impossible. A contested divorce is for couples who can’t agree on these critical matters. Instead, they need a judge to solve the issues for them based on state laws.
In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees on these matters and doesn’t require the court to help them sort their issues out. Some couples can reach their agreements on their own. Others require mediation or negotiation sessions.
A seasoned divorce lawyer can help set up mediation and represent you during this time. They can also handle negotiations on your behalf—either directly with your spouse or through their divorce attorney if one represents them.
The Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce
For many couples, an uncontested divorce isn’t something that comes easily. It takes time and compromise, as well as a willingness to be flexible and see circumstances from another’s point of view.
However, it comes with many benefits. They include:
- A quicker divorce – When couples can agree on the logistics of life after divorce, the process typically goes much faster. They don’t have to wait for the family court to sort out their disagreements or do further research into what should happen. A faster divorce means you can move on with your life sooner and often find peace with the entire event sooner than if it were to drag out. A contested divorce can last months or years, whereas an uncontested divorce can last weeks or a couple of months.
- Less expense – Divorces can be quite costly. Now more than ever, you likely want to be saving money for your and your children’s futures. Going through a contested divorce can cost a lot more than an uncontested divorce. If there is a lot of conflict between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars in legal, mediation, and court fees. Sometimes it’s worth the extra time and hassle to negotiate and perhaps give a little more to your spouse than to spend your money in legal fees.
- Fewer complications – Not only are contested divorces more expensive, but they also are inherently more complex. For example, you may have to attend multiple court hearings, and your divorce lawyer may need to file and respond to several motions on your behalf. Worse yet, you may have to give up a lot of personal records and information. Unfortunately, it can become pretty stressful and intimidating quickly. On the other hand, an uncontested divorce is relatively simple; reach an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and file your divorce case in court.
- More control – With an uncontested divorce, you have more control over the outcome. In a contested divorce, you put your life in the court’s hands and give them control over both the process and the terms of your agreement. Even if you and your spouse can only agree on a few issues, it still gives you more control than if you can’t agree on every issue. Suppose you don’t want a stranger who isn’t familiar with you or your family to determine your future and what is best for you and your kids. In that case, it’s best to attempt an uncontested divorce. Often, spouses who go through a contested divorce end up feeling like they are out of control. But, as backward as it might seem, trying to compromise can help you gain back control.
- More peaceful – Uncontested divorces are much more amicable as they leave out much or all of the hostility and negativity seen in contested divorces. Life can be much more peaceful with less stress if you can find a way to agree with your spouse. Not only so, but remaining respectful and cordial can help pave the way for an amicable relationship in the future. This is especially important if you have children.
Some couples can settle on some issues but not others. In those cases, they will need to ask the judge to make determinations. However, agreeing on some issues is better than not agreeing on any at all. Couples who can negotiate some agreements will still experience these benefits to an extent greater than if they were filing an entirely contested divorce.
Can You Have an Uncontested Divorce?
No divorce is ever 100 percent perfect or easy, yet an uncontested divorce is possible in many situations. Whether or not you can have one depends upon many factors. However, the more willing you are to compromise, see things from your spouse’s point of view, act cordially, and sort matters out, the better your chances are of having one.
Of course, you can’t control the way your partner behaves and whether they are willing to compromise. When you hire the right divorce attorney, they can use their resources and negotiation skills to attempt to achieve an uncontested divorce on your behalf. Divorcing spouses who are represented by experienced attorneys are more likely to succeed at an uncontested divorce than those who do not. No matter what type of divorce you end up in, the process and outcome will be more desirable when you have a well-versed divorce lawyer on your side.