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When most people talk about divorce, they’re referring to a messy divorce where partners argue over things and strive to repair the relationship. However, there are many cases where the partners are on board with the terms, and there is no need for dramatic court battles and traumatic memories for the children.
An uncontested divorce occurs when both people in the relationship agree to the divorce. These terms include division of assets, custody, alimony, and more. There is no need to battle and settle when the deed is done. It usually takes less than six months to complete.
If you’re interested in learning more about uncontested divorce, read on. It’s ideal to know about this option to save money and stress if you and your partner agree and want to split without a fuss.
What Is Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce occurs when one of two things happens. Each comes with varying drawbacks and advantages.
The first happens when both members agree to the standards set forth. They are on the same page about the custody of their children, assets, spousal support, marital property, and anything else associated with them.
The other is a little trickier. One partner may file for divorce and ask for things from their partner, like the home. If the other person does not respond to the papers or come to the date, the court will determine whether the other spouse gets the things they want without the other’s defense.
An uncontested divorce is where there is no arguing throughout the process. Divorce comes to a smooth, affordable, and manageable end.
Average Length of Time For Uncontested Divorce
The fastest possible divorce can occur in thirty-one days, but that only happens if both people are on the same page and have all the legal work prepared. Usually, four to six months is an accurate prediction for an uncontested divorce.
There are many factors at work, from the work schedules of each partner to any disagreements they might need to fix before filing. Each component takes time, and every couple works at their own pace.
Some uncontested divorces might be shorter, while some fall on the longer side. It’s ideal not to rush this process to ensure you and your partner agree on every aspect of your life before splitting your marriage in half forever.
Advantages of Uncontested Divorce
If you and your partner are considering divorce, it’s critical to know the options. Is it worth it to let things go, or do you have disagreements on your mind? There are two valuable benefits to uncontested divorce that might interest you.
An uncontested divorce will save you:
- Time: You don’t have to waste precious moments filling out legal information and battling it with your partner in court.
- Money: You will keep cash in your pocket that would otherwise go towards hiring a lawyer and other necessary steps for the legal process.
You will have more of each on your side.
Everyone could use more time and money, especially when going through something as life-changing as a divorce. An uncontested divorce is ideal if both members are on board and aware of the terms.
Disadvantages of Uncontested Divorce
Of course, where there are advantages, there are always disadvantages. It’s critical to consider the darker side of this process to determine if you and your spouse are on the same page about the split.
There are a few issues that stand out in an uncontested divorce. Do not get one if you and your partner fall into one of these categories:
- Abuse cases: If one partner is abusing the other, an uncontested case is a bad idea. One individual will likely have power over the other and end the divorce with more.
- Parties unable to speak: If you can’t talk without yelling at each other, don’t get an uncontested divorce. You will never agree on everything and it’s best to work it out in court.
- Inability to work through paperwork: If you don’t know how to handle paperwork, don’t go for an uncontested divorce. Hire someone to help you and let the court system solve the complexities.
Not every divorce works for an uncontested situation.
It’s critical to analyze you and your partner to determine where you stand. If you don’t think you’re prepared for an uncontested divorce, consider the contested options for both of your benefits.
Uncontested Versus Contested Divorce
Contested divorces are different from uncontested divorces and require a different process for the participants. Each starts the same - the petitioner files and asks for things in the divorce, then the responder replies. After this moment, the divorce types split.
In a contested divorce, participants try to agree on as much as possible. Anything they don’t will be decided in a court of law if mediators and attorneys don’t help. If this process still doesn’t help, the divorce moves to a civil trial structure. Once everything splits up evenly, the divorce is final.
Uncontested divorces are much cleaner. Partners agree on everything beforehand, or the other does not respond. The judge asks questions, splits the items, then legally declares the pair divorced once everything is sorted out officially.
If at all possible, a couple should strive for an uncontested divorce. Although it isn’t always possible, uncontested divorces result in fairer treatment and fewer hurt feelings once the split becomes legal.
Process of Filing For Uncontested Divorce
The biggest influencer on filing for an uncontested divorce is the timeline. Each divorce follows the same basic principles.
Here is the general process for filing an uncontested divorce:
- The couple decides on everything and, if they agree, file for a settlement
- The parties visit the court and agree to the terms set forth by the judge
- The judge signs off on the divorce
- The petitioner files for a divorce
- The responder doesn’t respond within the time limit
- The court looks at what the petitioner wants
- The court determines what the petitioner gets
Each step takes a different amount of time.
Many couples come to court prepared and ready to end their marriage with their assets laid out. Others have a few things to figure out and may require a court hearing or two to finalize their decisions. Each is a valid way to perform a divorce.
Requirements For Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce doesn’t occur without any work. There are a few things you must consider before moving forward with the process.
Requirements for an uncontested divorce include the following agreements:
- How you will share custody and parenting duties of your children
- The legal reason you are divorcing
- Who will keep pets
- How you will split up your marital property
- Who will pay alimony and how long that payment will go on for
- Any child support for dependent or minor kids
These should be discussed and sorted out before filing for a settlement.
Failure to sort out any of these things will lead to complications in court. The judge will read your settlement to determine if everything is fair, ideal for your children, and doesn’t result from any form of coercion.
Does Uncontested Divorce Length Vary By State?
Although some court systems might not operate as smoothly as others, the divorce process does not differ by state. The real thing that impacts the length is the factors surrounding the divorce. What have you agreed on so far? How many children do you have? What else are you bringing into this split?
Some couples may file for an uncontested divorce and realize there is a lot more to deal with than they first thought. Some may become uncertain about their decision halfway through and falter. Others might have chaotic work schedules, making it almost impossible to make it to their court date with the other person.
Consider your life, case, and circumstances. What have you built together? The complexity of your union and the grounds surrounding your divorce will have the biggest impact on the length of your uncontested divorce.
Do You Need An Attorney For Uncontested Divorce?
You don’t need an attorney for your uncontested divorce in any step of the case. That’s why so many people love this version of divorce - it doesn’t require all the expensive prices that come with hiring a legal professional to be on your side.
Of course, there is a reason for an attorney in any legal situation. Even uncontested divorces may run into their troubles, leading to disagreements and hurt feelings. You aren’t required to have an attorney, but it’s an excellent one to keep this professional by your side.
If you can’t fork over that much money, there are other ways to get legal help. Look on the internet, work it out with your partner, or call around to see if there are any beginner attorneys available for a lower price than the traditional fees.
Keep in mind that uncontested divorces can still have their issues. If possible, an attorney is the best bet to ensure you and your partner have a fair shot at getting what you deserve in an uncontested divorce.
How Much Does An Uncontested Divorce Cost?
Even uncontested divorces aren’t cheap. It’s critical to ensure you are in good financial standing before a divorce, or you will add more stress to your life, especially if you split apart finances and other valuable assets.
An uncontested divorce or a split without massive contentions costs about $1,400. This cost covers the basics for couples who have agreed to everything beforehand and seek to spend the least time in the courtroom.
This number goes up drastically once complications enter the situation. The median price for a divorce was $12,900 in 2020; Those that go on trial for two or more issues cost over $23,000, while legal fees run around $11,000 per spouse with a full-scope attorney.
Although an uncontested divorce will take a chunk from your savings, it’s much less than other types of divorce. Overall, an uncontested divorce is the shortest and cheapest way to split from your partner fairly.
Reference Legal Explanations
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"How Fast is an Uncontested Divorce?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on March 2, 2024. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-fast-is-an-uncontested-divorce/.
"How Fast is an Uncontested Divorce?". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-fast-is-an-uncontested-divorce/. Accessed 2 March, 2024
How Fast is an Uncontested Divorce?. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-fast-is-an-uncontested-divorce/.