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How to Talk to Your Spouse about an Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce can offer a means of simple and inexpensive closure of your marriage. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse can agree to a martial settlement, which will cover issues such as distribution of marital assets and liabilities, designation of non-marital assets and liabilities, time-sharing of children, a parenting plan, spousal support, and alimony. By agreeing to these central issues, your divorce can proceed quickly and without the stress that often accompanies a typical divorce, which can include prolonged deliberation in court, discussion of martial fault, and the like.
If you are interest in an uncontested divorce, one of the first steps will be discussing this option with your spouse to determine if he or she would also consider traveling this route to the dissolution of your marriage. The following is a list of ways to approach the subject of an uncontested divorce with your spouse:
Staying Out of Court
You and your spouse can discuss an uncontested divorce as a way to keep the case out of court. Traditional, contested divorce proceedings may involve several heated trips to court, often requiring substantial legal fees and the intimidation of having to testify before a judge. In an uncontested divorce, on the other hand, your court time will be very limited. You may have to appear in front of a family law judge for a final hearing, but in an uncontested divorce that hearing can take mere minutes when you have already reached a settlement agreement and a parenting plan, if children are involved.
Keeping Costs Down
You and your spouse can also discuss an uncontested divorce as a means of keeping costs down. An uncontested divorce will still involve some attorneys’ fees and court costs, but it is far less expensive than litigating a case in court. The filing of motions, completion of discovery, hearings, and trial are all extremely expensive. A lot of time will go into each of these stages of the proceedings, from time spent researching and drafting to emailing, calling, planning, and strategizing.
Monetary costs are not the only costs involved in litigation—it will also cost both of you time and energy. An adversarial divorce is draining, physically, emotionally, and mentally. The drama and high stakes involved can take a significant toll on your person. This can all be avoided through an uncontested divorce.
An Incentive to Making it Work
You and your spouse can discuss the fact that you will both have an incentive to make the uncontested divorce work, to avoid extra cost and time of needing to litigate issues in court. As such, you should both enter into divorce settlement talks in good faith and make an honest attempt to reach an agreement on central issues like distribution of marital assets and time-sharing arrangements for your children. As an added incentive for spouses with children, an uncontested divorce can reduce acrimony and allow parents to work together to develop a time-share arrangement that is truly in the best interests of the child. Agreement now can lead to more successful co-parenting down the road.
A spouse who does not make timely support payments can have his or her wages garnished through the Florida Child Support Enforcement Department. The court orders that alimony be automatically taken from the paying spouse's paycheck. The court can also order that the paying spouse give the alimony payments to the Support Enforcement Department, which will give the money to the receiving spouse. The department acts as a third party which manages the collection and distribution of support payments on a statewide basis. If the paying spouse of child support or alimony fails to make timely and sufficient payments, the court can suspend the paying spouse's driver's license.
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