The meaning of an uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree to end a marriage and come to a mutual agreement about matters related to the divorce and the final settlement, without the help of the court. Despite the severity of the word, divorce is not always anger filled and full of conflict. As long as the two people in a marriage can decide mutually about matters like child custody, spousal support, financial and property distribution, without depending on the judicial system, a divorce need not be an unpleasant experience.
If the spouses are able to reach an agreement on issues pertaining to the divorce then the parties can simply fill out the forms for an uncontested divorce without having to appear in court. Once the required time period set by the court has elapsed, the divorce is declared final. Maturity and an acceptance of the breakdown of the marriage play a major role in an uncontested divorce. Courts too, encourage uncontested divorces as they do not put an additional burden on the already overloaded trial system. An uncontested divorce is also a quicker process, less stressful and cheaper than a contested divorce.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is easier when there are no children involved and barely any assets since these are the two major issues during a divorce. However, this does not imply that those with children and large marital assets cannot opt for an uncontested divorce. If both parties can work out a divorce settlement agreement mutually then an uncontested divorce can work equally well for them.
In order to file for an uncontested divorce, the following requirements have to be met:
- If there are children involved then a written plan for visiting and custody rights. The court requires a written statement on parenting responsibilities.
- The division of property, finances and debts if there are any.
- The amount of child support to be paid to the parent who has the custody of the child/children.
- The amount of financial support to be paid (if any) and to which party.
Advantages and disadvantages of an uncontested divorce:
When both parties are making a decision about the type of divorce that will work best for them, they should consider the pros and cons of each option that they have, as a divorce is a major life change and their decision will have lasting repercussions. One of the major advantages of filing for an uncontested divorce is that the process is much quicker. There are no trials and hearings and allows the spouses to move forward with their lives sooner. Uncontested divorces also reduce the conflicts which arise due to the situation and save the family unnecessary agony, especially if there are children involved. Another obvious advantage is the cost. An uncontested divorce is usually much less expensive than a contested one.
However, the one disadvantage that could be a possibility in some cases is that at times a spouse could agree to an unfair settlement just to avoid further conflict. In such cases, he or she could settle for far less than what they deserve, especially in terms of financial assets.
Not every uncontested divorce is similar and not every uncontested divorce is smooth. Any divorce, contested or otherwise, is not an easy process. It can trigger negative emotions and can have an emotional and lasting impact on the spouses and the families involved. For an uncontested divorce, both parties need to put these negative emotions aside and focus on the issues at hand. If not, then the only recourse will be to go to court, spend large amounts of money, time and effort over issues that you could have been resolved on your own.