For some married couples, there comes a time when they feel the need to call it quits. They collectively decide to pursue their own goals on their paths. Couples under these circumstances go for a divorce, and numerous legal procedures follow. Life turns into a bizarre mess in case it wasn’t already.
Divorce rates have been on the rise for a long time now. Individuals tend to go through a divorce with relative ease nowadays due to the development of new laws and regulations. Divorce lawyers streamline the process significantly. Then, there is also the availability of marriage counselors who also work towards ensuring the stability of couples in relationships. This article focuses on uncontested divorces and the laws associated with them.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is when both parties come to a mutual agreement on separation, which includes child support, child custody, property settlement, liability settlement, and alimony. Thousands of dollars, as well as valuable time, are saved as the spouses decide to not go for a prolonged battle in court. When one spouse files for a divorce, the other can either agree to it or contest the decision.
In the case of the former scenario, no drawn-out court proceedings follow. The individuals fill out and sign the uncontested divorce papers and have them submitted to the court via their respective divorce attorneys. After filing the papers, if one of them fails to make it to the hearing, a divorce is granted automatically.
Make no mistake: an uncontested divorce must be mutual. Couples need to come to a mature decision before pursuing the legal proceedings of the divorce in the first place. Attorneys, as mentioned above, can only make the process smoother. However, the mindset of the spouses needs to be firm regarding the divorce before the lawyer is approached in the first place.
Importance of Legal Representatives in an Uncontested Divorce
The most straightforward nature of uncontested divorces enables individuals to deal with the steps on their own. This does sound tempting, as it provides a chance to reduce attorney expenses. However, hiring a personal divorce lawyer can wrap the entire process up faster than you might expect.
If you do decide to go solo, you can still get a lawyer’s help when it comes to getting the paperwork ready, as well as reviewing the settlement agreement. This is especially effective when there are children and assets involved. The divorce procedure is the shortest when the individuals are newly married and had not taken part in many joint ventures until then.
Couples looking to avoid professional attorneys and complex procedures can seek the help of a mediator. These experts specialize in bringing couples to a common ground. They work tirelessly to establish future boundaries that will benefit both parties after separation. On top of that, older couples have retirement benefits to consider as well. A legal appraiser or actuary can be hired in such cases to divide the shares fairly.
These professionals, however, do not come cheap. You may have to spend between $4,000 to $7,000, based on the location and the credibility of the expert. Couples need to be very careful when it comes to settling on the portions of assets they get after the divorce.
Going solo, although cheap, can cause you to end up with less than you deserve. This is a major loss if the assets are substantial. The best option is to hire a consulting attorney who can audit all the legal papers and documents before you submit them in court.
Can a Single Lawyer Be Hired for Both Spouses?
Legal procedures cost money. Ranging from lawyer fees to court expenses, the costs can cause a major dent in your budget and finances. This is why some couples opt for a single lawyer when going for an uncontested divorce. While this does seem to be an ideal solution, there are drawbacks to this as well.
When a single lawyer is hired, they will be representing one of the two spouses. Yes, the attorney will deal with the paperwork of both but will represent only one of them. This can be problematic for the other as the settlements might not be fair and equal under such circumstances. We suggest these individuals get an in-depth understanding of uncontested divorce laws and proceed with the legal aspects on their own.
Is a Legal Document Preparation Expert Necessary?
Couples deciding to not hire full-fledged lawyers can choose a legal document preparer to issue all the necessary documents. Generally, paralegals, law associates, and legal typists can be hired to handle such matters. These people visit the court on your behalf, obtain the papers, and ensure they are properly updated. They do the same work as lawyers do except for legally representing you in court.
Why Go for an Uncontested Divorce?
There are certain benefits of an uncontested divorce. Let us take a brief look into some of the most significant ones.
• Uncontested divorces are cheaper compared to when there is a contest because the process is not prolonged due to couples coming to a firm decision before applying for the divorce. Money and time are both saved.
• Judges generally tend to not linger on uncontested divorce cases.
• Uncontested divorces provide a platform for the couples to retain their relationship even after separation as everything happens based on mutual consent.
• The process runs smoother as, in most cases, there is little disagreement between the couples during the hearing.
Divorce is probably one of the most unexpected and unwarranted experiences in an individual’s life. Spouses might decide to go their separate ways if crucial boundaries are not being respected and appreciated in the relationship. We believe this article has given you a comprehensive idea about the legal aspects of uncontested divorces and the ideal ways to deal with them.