The advent of modernization and new media means has brought about changes to how society handles certain norms. We have seen changes to human relations, primarily marriages, whereby the urge for divorce during a dispute has become a norm.
So, what happens when the couple has issues and files for a divorce? The legal issues included can be very costly, as we see divorce cases extended over long periods.
The case of an uncontested divorce is different from the conventional divorce patterns as divorce doesn’t carry on for an extended period. So what is an uncontested divorce?
This article will be looking into the term and all that it entails. We would focus on its merits and demerits for us to get a better picture.
Divorce can be very tricky and riddled with several legal indications that would extend the proceedings’ duration. This is one of the banes of divorcing partners, as most times, they have to endure the long period associated with waiting on a final decree.
However, such a divorce eradicates the need for such issues and a waiting period.
In legal terms, an uncontested divorce is a case whereby involved parties aren’t disputing or fighting the decree. The case of such a divorce sees a rare event where both parties agree to the divorce and file an uncontested separation.
This type of divorce costs less than a contested divorce and the process is usually seamless, as most courts of law fast-track the divorce process. When divorcing partners undergo this process, they save time for the separation and spending less money than expected.
However, for a divorce to be ruled as uncontested, both parties have to ensure that they do not have any outstanding financial issues to settle or in a case whereby one party isn’t willing to undergo the divorce procedure.
The couple who are eager to go through this process almost does not have ties that could be binding such as a child or child care and alimony in the case of an offspring.
An uncontested divorce with child is more complicated. However, you can get uncontested divorce attorneys to help with legal documents to make the process easier.
Differentiating between contested and uncontested divorce
Many people don’t see the difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce because both mean that the couples are splitting up. However, it is essential to understand that both forms of divorce differ in their presentation and engagement.
In this scenario, the process of filing for this type of divorce requires that both parties unanimously agree to undertake the process. Before the court considers this process, both parties have to ensure that they have considered the necessary duties for each person to undertake.
From this point, the couple would have signed a divorce agreement that is binding. Other documents, such as those mentioned above, are also added to assure compliance and verification.
The divorce gives the splitting partners the leeway to rekindle lost flames and work together for the last time. During this long divorce process, most people find themselves absolved in their partner, thereby ending the divorce proceedings and getting back together.
However, when the divorcing partners complete the divorce agreement process, the case is then brought before the court, where a waiting period of 120 days is administered before final judgment. There are several steps for filing an uncontested divorce, and all those steps must be adhered to.
This is the most common method of divorce. The contested divorce involves a process where one of the spouses wants a temporary order or wants to take active steps concerning dissolving the union. Thereby giving them the leeway to either get payment from the other partner or hasten the divorce process.
There is a six-month waiting period with both partners expected to work together to conclude and negotiate their divorce terms. If they successfully overturn the contested state of their divorce and achieve an uncontested status, then the divorce process can be easily and swiftly achieved.
The process of starting the divorce can be tricky depending on the state you live in.
However, the choice of starting the divorce is yours to make. Being the first to initiate the divorce proceedings gives you leverage when it comes to such a divorce as you get to be the one serving the paper.
Hiring a divorce lawyer is usually the most advisable way to achieve this divorce due to the lawyers’ efficiency. Once you are ready to start this divorce, you get to pick up divorce forms from your local courthouse.
Once the paper has been appropriately filled and cross-checked by your lawyer, you need to submit a correctly filled document, as errors can delay the process. Once the documents have been confirmed as correct, the other party should be served divorce papers to initiate the proceedings.
The acceptance and final process that makes such a divorce complete is the signing of the papers by the other party to show acceptance. In most cases, if the other party doesn’t accept the terms and conditions of this kind of divorce, then the process becomes extended.
Conditions such as financial and custodial matters need to be agreed upon to show full compliance from both parties, hence leading to the divorce.
An uncontested divorce is preferred because of various reasons.
Check them out:
1. Low expenses
Expenses are a deciding factor in taking the route of this divorce due to the low fees required to undertake such cases.
Several divorce cases involve huge sums; settlements and fees are paid during the extended period. When a couple decides to undertake this divorce, they bypass the excessive fees most divorce attorneys charge their clients.
This is also because the attorney who undertakes uncontested divorce cases do not charge as much, as most of their duty only requires negotiation and checking the divorce papers.
2. Quick dissolution
The fact that most people want to avoid is the long drag involved in finalizing a divorce case. This is because most divorcing partners are ready to move out and take other steps concerning their lives.
Suppose the couples also do not have any bad blood between themselves. In that case, the court usually passes an order that allows the union’s quick dissolution, which would have been impossible with a contested divorce.
However, a contested divorce can make this impossible, as the waiting period and proceedings to finalize a contested divorce are usually prolonged. Uncontested divorce does not utilize the six-month waiting period usually allocated to couples who are parting ways on a contested level.
Considering there is faster resolution and the proceedings do not involve lengthy paperwork, the separation through contested divorce becomes less stressful as a lot of conflicts are eliminated.
A contested divorce is also easier because couples usually opt for such a divorce when other complexities like parenting, alimony are not an issue. When done on amicable terms, such a type of divorce is more preferred.
4. Smooth process
The utilization of divorce agreement also helps the couple transit out of the union as they work together to hasten the dissolution. If they can achieve this point of agreeing to lots of issues surrounding the breakup and dissolution, then the process should be easy and fair.
The demerits of an uncontested divorce are a significant reason why many people avoid going through that process. Let’s find out how:
1. Not suited for complex separation issues
Once there are entanglements between both couples with issues such as children and properties, undertaking the process of an uncontested divorce is torturous.
The settlement of complex properties and custody issues can be a drawback to an uncontested divorce. The couples have to undergo a series of separation documents and custodial documents that would elongate the process and increase fees.
2. The law varies from state to state
The laws on divorce are diverse depending on states, so before undertaking this divorce, understanding how a state handles issues such as child custody and property splits is essential. Some states would delay the divorce proceedings until all filed documentation is adequately attended.
So, it’s mostly advisable for couples with these entanglements to take the path of such a divorce.
3. Difficulties in cases of domestic violence
There is also a disadvantage when it comes to such a divorce for a partner that has been introduced to domestic violence during the relationship. This is because the couples are not entering the uncontested divorce in good light, hence elongating the case.
To decide on the duration of an uncontested divorce are usually inconclusive due to the several factors attached to the process.
Since the aim of such a divorce is for the couple to agree to the terms of the divorce proceedings, the case can drag for an extended period in a case where there is a dispute.
However, the period guiding the dissolution of an uncontested divorce varies based on states, with some states finalizing in less than a month and others extending to about 18 months. This is why employing the services of an attorney helps in a better negotiation process.
So if there isn’t any dispute between parties, an average uncontested divorce takes around one month to complete the process.
What does it take to file for an uncontested divorce?
The process of undertaking an uncontested divorce varies based on state laws. However, the laws guiding the divorce proceedings are similar. So it is best to understand what works for your state and follow them diligently to ease the process.
Once you have been able to solve this and have all the requirements of fulfilling child support, alimony, and property split, then you are on the path to achieving a successful divorce. The following actions are supposed to be properly documented to be attached to the uncontested divorce papers:
Step by Step Guide on Undertaking an Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested Divorce has a process that needs to be followed accordingly to increase the possibility of a great end. People who fail to follow the steps have to go through an extended period of a possible cancellation of the divorce proceedings.
The steps for filing uncontested divorce include:
Step 1: Once all the necessary documents have been completed, then the couple can file the divorce papers to the court of law for the beginning of proceedings.
Step 2: Both partners have to mutually file for the marriage dissolution only after they have elapsed 12 months of their union.
Step 3: The divorce papers are served to the other party to begin court proceedings of the divorce. This process is necessary because the respondent has to be legally informed of the dissolution plan.
Step 4: The respondent has to accept the claims and lead the sitting judge to continue with the proceedings, leading to the uncontested divorce. This is where the term uncontested surfaces, as the respondent agrees to the terms stimulated.
Step 5: After all the process has been agreed upon and the couples have accepted the terms of the relationship, they undertake the preliminary declaration of disclosure. This point is where all the documents containing what is owned and owed are exchanged. After this, the court gives the judgment of dissolution.
The video below discusses the declaration for default or uncontested dissolution in detail:
For people who want to undertake this divorce, following the pointers mentioned above can aid the successful divorce. Most people find it hard to go through this route due to the animosity involved in the process.
Although less expensive and faster, it should only be considered when both partners are willing to follow the due course.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.