In regard to getting divorced, there are a number of terms and procedures that may be confusing. These comprise of uncontested divorces, contested divorces, and no-fault divorces. Each of them means something completely different. Your situation determines which procedure you’re most likely to use.
What Exactly is an Uncontested Divorce?
Uncontested divorces are a divorce where each spouse has come to an agreement on all major matters, including:
- Child(ren) custody
- Visitation and/ or parenting time
- Child(ren) support
- Property division
- Division of debt
Uncontested divorce provides benefits to couples that a contested divorce doesn’t. In a number of states, if you each agree to all the conditions of the divorce you might never have to go to court. In other states you’re still required to go to court, but the uncontested divorce procedure in many states is a lot faster than a contested one.
If there are still some matters that need to be resolved, it’s probably a good idea to negotiate with your partner. In addition to being resolved faster, uncontested divorces involve a minimal amount of stress since you both are in agreement. Also, you can usually get divorced online devoid of spending a lot on legal expenses. On the other hand, if there are complicated matters that can’t be resolved, you won’t be able to file for an uncontested divorce.
How Uncontested Divorces are Different from Contested Divorces
In uncontested divorces, the essentials of the agreement on every matter and relative fastness through the court system are its determining elements. In contested divorces, the capability to make choices relative to your divorce case is out of your control since the judge makes the decisions. Your contested divorce will be contested in court being that you both are unable to come to an agreement. Occasionally having a lot of assets and major disputes over the children’s matters can make a divorce to be contested. The major issue with contested divorces is they could take a lot of time and can be very expensive.
Contested divorces usually mean greater stress and high legal fees considering it requires court visits and potentially having a trial. Legal fees are high because the amount of work it takes. A contested divorce comprises of:
- Filing a grievance and/ or petition
- Filing other papers, as well as net worth and/ or financial records with the court
- Answering the petition and/ or grievance if you’re the party that was served
- Serving and answering petitions
- Enduring the tiresome task of discovery in getting information from your partner
- Heading to trial with witnesses, and
- Potentially having to deal with an Attorney for the Children or a Guardian ad Litem that is representative of the child(ren).
The Difference Between an Uncontested Divorce and a No-Fault Divorce
An uncontested divorce and a no-fault divorce don’t mean the same thing. It’s feasible to have either a no-fault contested divorce or a no-fault uncontested divorce in many states. No-fault divorce basically means that the spouse filing the divorce doesn’t blame the other for their failed marriage.
It’s no longer needed to prove grounds for divorce or who’s to blame in any state. New York was the last one to become a no-fault state, but it is still feasible to claim grounds for divorce like adultery, desertion or incarceration for 3 successive years in New York state. Many states only permit a no-fault divorce as others permit a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. There’s no benefit in using fault-based grounds for divorce—it draws the divorce out since there could be a hearing on the grounds.
The terminology of a no-fault divorce is usually the marriage is irretrievably broken or that there might be irreconcilable differences among you and your partner. It’s a practical way of stating you are unable get along and the communication between you either doesn’t exist or is uncomfortable.
Getting an Uncontested Divorce
You can safeguard yourself in the uncontested divorce by getting an uncontested divorce lawyer. A divorce lawyer is accustomed to divorce documents and can guarantee that the documents are filed and served accordingly.
A lot of states have uncontested divorce forms in their county courthouses. The party that begins the divorce proceedings fills the forms out, files the forms with the county clerk, pays filing fees and has the forms served on the other. Verify with the county clerk or with the attorney so that the papers are served properly. Failing to serve divorce papers properly may mean you have to start the process over again and pay a 2nd filing fee for beginning another case.
If the forms are filled out incorrectly you might be able to amend them at a later date, but there’s always the possibility that will not be allowed. Speak with a lawyer if you have any question in how to fill out, file and serve the forms.
Following you having your spouse served, they are required file a response. In many states this means signing the forms you have prepared. Verify with the county clerk or a lawyer so the process is followed properly. After the response is finished, you might have to follow a mandated waiting period in several states. In a lot of states your lawyer prepares a Stipulation of Settlement or Settlement Agreement that will be included in the divorce.
You might want to think about carrying out your uncontested divorce on-line. The forms are accessible with instructions for your specific state. The forms will be filled out with the information you present, so be sure they accurate. Following you receiving the forms, verify with your lawyer or county clerk about how to file and serve them. The serving of papers is what begins the uncontested divorce procedure. In many states, uncontested divorces are granted in a few short weeks or a couple of months.
- DeLoe, Ronna L. “How to Get an Uncontested Divorce.” Legalzoom.com, 16 Jan. 2020, www.legalzoom.com/articles/how-to-get-an-uncontested-divorce.
Choose the Right Uncontested Divorce Lawyer in Arizona
Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important you make the best choice for you when hiring an uncontested divorce attorney. Remember: The decisions you make now can affect your future. Ultimately, choosing the best lawyer will depend on which lawyer feels best for you and your situation.
Engaging with an attorney to protect your family is never an easy step. Whether you need to protect your family from the unthinkable or restructure your family through collaborative divorce, we’re here to help. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation with Michelle Ogborne, please visit the scheduling page to get started.