What Is Meant By Uncontested Divorce?

Not all divorcing couples have disagreements that can affect the course of their divorce. If you and your spouse agree on a few major issues, you might want to consider having an uncontested divorce. To learn more, read below.

What Does It Take to Have an Uncontested Divorce?

When you contest something, in legal terms, you are disagreeing with it. So, an uncontested divorce means that both parties are certain that they will agree to all the terms of the divorce. If you are interested in testing that, review the major list of divorce issues below and discuss them with your spouse. If everything gets the green light, you should consider having an uncontested divorce.

  • Child custody and visitation.
  • Marital debts and who pays them.
  • Marital property and who gets it.
  • Who pays for the child's health insurance? It's often the parent providing the child support.
  • What happens with the couple's retirement plan, which may be marital property?

What if You Agree on Almost Everything?

The more you can agree on, the better. However, if you disagree on even one divorce issue, you will not be having an uncontested divorce. That does not mean that you are in for a big fight or headed for the courtroom, though. Speak to your divorce lawyer and try to work things out with your spouse. Consider using a professional divorce mediator to help you resolve the issue before taking it to court.

Get Legal Advice

First, know that having an uncontested divorce does not mean you don't need a lawyer. Both parties need a lawyer to ensure that the provisions of the marital settlement agreement, which you both agreed to, are fair and legal. Most family court judges will approve of a couple's agreement, but they won't allow anyone to be treated unfairly. For instance, if one party seems to be taking on more than their fair share of the marital debts, the judge will want to know why. It might be because that party has a lot of separate (personal) debt, which the judge might not know about.

Issues That Create Problems

Some factors can decrease the likelihood of having an uncontested divorce, such as those below:

  • Long-term marriages with a lot of property and debt could increase the odds that the financial situation cannot be easily resolved.
  • Issues within the marriage like domestic abuse, criminal activity, or substance abuse issues could make it difficult for the couple to work things out on their own.

An uncontested divorce can be ideal for some couples. Speak to a divorce lawyer to find out more.