Going through divorce is almost always a difficult and stressful experience. It is never easy to finally accept that a relationship is not working while attempting to crawl through the trenches of legal paperwork. Even so, it may come as a surprise to find that most divorces completed today are uncontested divorces, which, if applicable and appropriate, can finalize a divorce more quickly and at a more efficient cost.
What is Uncontested Divorce?
Simply put, uncontested, or simple divorce occurs when both spouses agree to the divorce and the major factors that comprise the divorce. These factors can be quite situational, but in general there are four common factors that must be agreed upon by both spouses seeking a divorce:
- Parenting plan – which of the spouses obtains custody of any minor children (if any); also includes pick-up and drop-off times and dates, summer vacation and/or holiday accommodations
- Child Support – which spouse pays (generally the divorcee who does not obtain custody of any children in question) and how much is paid
- Alimony/Spousal Support – which spouse pays support to the other, if applicable
- Division of assets and/or debt – how property, including any marital homes
If both parties involved in the divorce can agree on all of these issues, an uncontested or simple divorce may very well be a good option to hasten the divorce process.
Advantages of Uncontested Divorce
If both parties are able to agree on all four of the previous factors (and any other related factors that may arise during the divorce process), choosing to seek a simple divorce could very well save both time and money. Because both parties were able to agree on most (if not all) of the factors outlined above, there is no need for court involvement to complete a divorce, therein speeding up the process as much less is required to finalize the process. For example, during a standard divorce, both involved parties must be present for the process, whereas only one involved party is required to be present for a simple divorce; the non-attending spouse must simply file a waiver of appearance. Uncontested, or simple divorces are often much less expensive than standard divorces even when accounting for attorneys’ fees. These divorces, if an agreement is reached, can sometimes be finalized by paying the court filing fees; however, even in simpler situations where agreement is easily reached, it is still recommended to seek counsel from a practicing attorney in regards to the matter.
Why Hire an Attorney?
If simple divorces are often easier, quicker, and less expensive, it may seem as though there is no need for an attorney’s assistance. In spite of this, the guidance offered by a practicing family law attorney is still very valuable. Family law attorneys are experts in divorce law and can ensure that his or her represented spouse receives fair treatment and does not unjustifiably lose any legal rights to which they would otherwise be entitled. It is also common for the divorcing couple to agree to the terms of divorce, only for one of the involved parties to hire a family law attorney to prepare the necessary paperwork. In this situation, it is almost always recommended for both parties to obtain legal help from separate attorneys to ensure there is no bias and that all terms of divorce previously agreed upon remain consistent.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce, speak with an attorney. Consultations at the North Tampa Law Group are free. Learn your rights before signing any divorce documents. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (813) 518-7411 or e-mail us.