Why Should You Consider an Uncontested Divorce?
It’s common for individuals to spend thousands of dollars on a contested divorce that goes through trial. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to consider options that might allow you to end your marriage without the need to appear in court.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties to the marriage in question agree to terms of a final settlement outside of court. As a general rule, couples will agree to terms without the need for a lengthy court battle. A divorce will likely be considered uncontested if there are no outstanding issues prior to seeking court approval to formally end the union.
What Are the Key Benefits to an Uncontested Divorce?
One of the key benefits of this type of divorce is that you may be able to forego any waiting period before your marriage is officially terminated. You can get closure in a timely manner and start taking steps to rebuild your life as soon as you and your spouse agree to go your separate ways.
If you have children, opting to avoid a formal trial can help to spare them from being exposed to the drama and stress that it may bring. Furthermore, avoiding court may also mean that your split is less expensive because you may not need a divorce lawyer until it comes time to review the terms of the final settlement. Also, court costs add up.
Are You Sure That Your Settlement Is Equitable?
An uncontested divorce may be a good idea for you if you truly feel as if you have reached a fair settlement based on the agreement that you’ve made with your spouse. As a general rule, you are entitled to roughly half of the assets held within the marital estate. You may also be entitled to alimony, child support payments and other forms of compensation.
Often, the value of the marital estate is determined by reviewing tax returns, pay records and other financial documents. If you don’t have access to those records, it may not be wise to sign any divorce documents. Instead, it may be best to hire a divorce lawyer who may be able to examine the documents and interpret them for you.
A Judge Will Need to Review a Parenting Plan Before It Takes Effect
To qualify for an uncontested divorce, you must have any issues related to child custody and support taken care of prior to submitting divorce papers. However, although you can create a parenting plan as part of the settlement process, it won’t necessarily go into effect right away because a judge will need to ensure that it preserves your child’s best interests.
In most cases, a hearing consists of little more than answering a few questions to ensure that you understand the plan’s structure and that you agree to adhere to it. Afterward, the judge will likely approve the plan and allow it to take effect immediately.
What Else Should You Know About an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce can be ideal if you want to keep a more positive emotional state. Of course, negotiating a settlement outside of court requires you and your spouse to work together with the help of your respective divorce lawyers to come to an agreement. During this process, you get a chance to express your feelings in an open and honest way, which may help you work through the emotional trauma that ending a marriage may bring.
Furthermore, it allows you to tell your spouse what you really need from a settlement. Therefore, there is a greater chance that you will walk away from the negotiation table feeling good about yourself and your future prospects. This may make it easier to maintain the strength needed to be there for yourself and for your children after your marriage ends.
If you have legal questions about your upcoming divorce or would like input about your proposed settlement, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner in Jenkintown by calling 215-886-1266 or by filling out the secure online contact form.