Divorce is a very painful decision, no matter which type of divorce you choose. An uncontested divorce works best when there are not disputes involved regarding custody, property, finances, nor other issues. Uncontested divorces are usually very private and allow you to end your marriage with dignity. If you and your spouse were able to work out most of the legal issues beforehand, an uncontested divorce can save you time and money.
The greatest advantage of an uncontested divorce is that it is the least expensive divorce available. There is little paperwork involved and can be processed very quickly. The less money you have to spend on attorneys, the more money you will have to live on for you and your children after the divorce is finalized. You do not have to agree with every issue to get an uncontested divorce. If you two can get along long enough to work out an agreement without fighting, the uncontested divorce will greatly minimize your costs.
An uncontested divorce is not for everyone. If there is domestic violence involved, it is usually not a good idea since only one party will have legal representation. An uncontested divorce works best when both parties can openly communicate with each other. If there are joint money or property issues, such as joint title or land deeds, an uncontested divorce will not be the proper avenue for you to take. Legal counsel is needed to advise on these matters.
If you are worried that your interests will not be represented if you are the party without counsel, then an uncontested divorce is probably not your best option.
How it Works
In an uncontested divorce, legal representation is only afforded to one party. The lawyer will explain the process in a private meeting before signing legal documents. You will meet together to discuss the key issues, what documents will need to be signed and the options that are available. The papers are not signed until both parties are in agreement with the terms of the divorce. The two parties usually do not have to go to court when all issues are agreed upon. The papers can be filed and you will receive your official notarized documents from the court.
When Children are Involved
If you and your spouse have minor children, your case may be referred to the office of the court, who will interview the children and recommend who receives custody. If child support is not an issue that is agreed upon by both parties, you cannot file an uncontested divorce. If custody issues are involved, an uncontested divorce is most likely out of the question. Both parties will need to be represented by legal counsel.
Uncontested divorces can cost anywhere from $90 to $1,200. The fee may depend on how much time the attorney will have to devote to the case. If there are unresolved issues that must be worked out, the cost could increase. The less you pay, the less attention you can expect to receive from your attorney.
If you and your spouse openly communicate, it is best to decide who will receive the legal representation. The legal representation should go to the spouse who needs the most help. Here are some points that are considered in an uncontested divorce for which party should receive representation: Which spouse was left? Who needs the most financial support? Is any spouse considering bankruptcy? If so, the spouse who is not considering bankruptcy will usually receive the legal counsel.