Ending a marriage is never an easy simple process. Nevertheless, it may be easy in some situations when spouses are able to stay respectful and agree on their own how to split the marital assets, handle custody and support matters, and deal with any other issues. Also known as an uncontested divorce, it might be hard for a divorcing couple to achieve in a lot of instances, but the advantages can be great under the correct circumstances.
Uncontested Divorce Pros
An uncontested divorce offers spouses getting divorced the opportunity to end their marriage discreetly and with grace.
The clearest benefit of an uncontested divorce is the cost. An uncontested divorce that continues to be uncontested is almost always the less costly way of getting a divorce. The lower cost is not, on the other hand, the only beneficial part of an uncontested divorce. If the degree of conflict among the two spouses stays marginal, an uncontested divorce provides an approach to keep it that way. It’s more discreet, more collaborative, and likely to retain more of your assets in the spouse’s pockets and outside the reach of attorneys, bookkeepers, process servers, and others needed for a full divorce proceeding.
Uncontested Divorce Cons
An uncontested divorce isn’t a good idea if one spouse is beating the other. When there’s a record of domestic violence, emotional abuse, or another discrepancy in power in the marriage, it often leads to one spouse gaining an unjust upper hand over the other. That spouse probably needs an attorney to be a proponent for them in a challenging situation.
It’s also not a good idea when the spouses aren’t able to speak with each other without it ending up in a fight. If your spouse declines to have any talks with you concerning divorce, or each discussion ends with you screaming at each other but you are dead set on moving forward with divorcing, you’ll probably need to advance with a contested divorce and likely should hire a lawyer. Likewise, if each of you or just one of you’re vested in retaining specific pieces of property or taking a bigger portion of the marital assets, then this can lead to an uncompromising disagreement that might not be easily settled in uncontested divorce proceedings.
Lastly, an uncontested divorce is also a bad idea if each of you aren’t comfortable with the law or don’t think you can work through the documentation by yourselves. Uncontested divorces are somewhat straightforward, but still need you to read and acknowledge several different forms that will most likely include fairly comprehensive financial disclosures by each spouse. If this in an intimidating idea to you, it might be a good idea to speak with an attorney to assist you with the steps.
How Uncontested Divorce Works
The first thing to realize about uncontested divorce is that you can do it by yourself or with the help of a lawyer. If you hire a lawyer, the lawyer you hire to do your uncontested divorce isn’t able to represent each of you. Since each spouse has their own distinctive interests, the moral principles for lawyers requires that a lawyer can represent only one spouse, not both. They need to represent one of you, but not the other. The lawyer needs to know at the beginning which of you is their client and which one isn’t.
Typically, all jurisdictions will require you to prepare comparable documentation to initiate a divorce: the petition for divorce, documentation proving each party is aware of and participating in the divorce, financial testimony disclosing everything each party has, a settlement agreement, and a judgment proposal. Many jurisdictions might also require you to couples therapy before authorizing the divorce. Occasionally, the necessary documents are available online or can be acquired at the county clerk’s office.
Following you producing the documents, and each spouse is pleased with them, you then sign and then file them. In many jurisdictions that’s it; your case will be responded to based on the paperwork and you’ll receive the divorce judgment through the mail. In other jurisdictions, you’re required to go to a hearing with your spouse to affirm everything that is in the documents are true and correct and that you weren’t forced into signing it.
How Much Uncontested Divorce Costs
The cost for an uncontested divorce varies greatly by state. At the lowest you’ll have filing fees that will vary by state, and occasionally even courthouses. In addition, you might have attorney fees if you need help with your paperwork. Nevertheless, when all is said and done, you’ll probably have fees of less than $2,000, even with a lawyer, and likely a lot less (only a couple hundred dollars) if you deal with everything by yourself.
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.