The division of assets (community and/or marital property), the division of debt, the custody and visitation of any children, the payment of child and/or spousal support -– these four issues are at the center of any divorce. At the onset at least, no divorce is truly “uncontested“; no couples come to end without some disagreements and arguments about one or all of these issues. But through face-to-face negotiations and good communication the spouses resolve the issues, and these disputes do not always have to be resolved with lawyers or by the court. That’s what we mean by an uncontested and mutual divorce – one where the spouses can reach a decision as to the terms of the divorce without extensive cat and mouse games and going to trial. Essentially an amicable divorce.
Uncontested divorces move more quickly through the courts and are less expensive than contested divorces in every sense of the word.
Every couple seeking a divorce should first attempt to work out mutual terms. When at all possible, every divorcing couple should aim for a mutual divorce. Introducing lawyers and the court will also introduce the lament of surprise. When spouses cannot resolve disputes on their own, many people turn to arbitration and/or mediation. This saves time and money with bypassing the lengthy discovery, litigation and trial process. A mutual and uncontested divorce tends to reduce hostility, save money, and sends both parties on their way to resume their lives more quickly and with less emotional and financial damage.
If an attorney represents one spouse or there are difficult financial issues, seeking an attorney may be necessary.When couples have complex issues — high financial stakes – their divorces are often contested or quickly become contested. An uncontested divorce can often be performed without an attorney; a contested divorce demands experienced counsel with sound legal advice.