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What is an uncontested divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2023 | Divorce

The word divorce often brings to mind images of people fighting bitterly in court. People automatically think of litigation when they imagine a married couple ending their relationship. However, litigation has never been the only means of divorcing.

Couples who recognize that they cannot repair their relationship sometimes cooperate with one another to file uncontested divorces instead of litigated divorces. As the name implies, and uncontested divorce involves the spouses presenting the courts with certain details and agreeing on those terms. They make their decisions about how to equitably divide their property and share parenting responsibilities.

How do couples achieve an uncontested divorce?

For many couples, the possibility of an uncontested divorce begins when they sign a prenuptial agreement during their engagement. They recognize that divorce might eventually happen and so they plan ahead of time by setting certain rules for property division and other issues that will likely affect their marriage.

Prenuptial agreements are more common these days than in decades past, but they are still only present in a minority of marriages. Other couples that want to file an uncontested divorce will typically need to work with one another. They may negotiate through their attorneys until they reach a settlement for property division and custody matters, or they may attend mediation sessions together.

What are the benefits of uncontested divorce?

People pursue uncontested divorces for a variety of different reasons. One of the most common is a desire to keep costs lower. When you don’t litigate, you minimize how much time you spend in court, which tends to reduce the total cost of the process.

For others, the privacy that comes from an uncontested divorce is the biggest incentive to cooperate with their spouse, as they don’t want to have embarrassing hearings in family court. Many people choose uncontested divorce specifically because they want to maintain control over certain elements of their divorce, such as their parenting schedule or what happens with their retirement accounts.

Uncontested divorces require commitment to a positive outcome and careful consideration. Evaluating what approach the best given your circumstances can help you make use of the best family law solutions for your situation, such as attending mediation so that you can file for an uncontested divorce.