If you are preparing for a divorce, there is probably a lot of tension around wondering how things will go between you and your spouse as you begin to disconnect your lives, legally, emotionally, and financially. There are quite a few different issues that you will need to come to an agreement on before you are allowed to officially finalize your divorce, and if you are unable to reach an agreement, then you will need to go in front of a judge who will make the decisions for you. While this is rarely the best option for a divorce, there are many times where a couple must come to this option in order to settle their disagreements.
However, if you are able to work with your spouse (either directly or through lawyers) and can reach an agreement on each of the required decisions, then you will be able to approach the courts and file for what is known as an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce tells the courts that you have agreed on all issues, and simply need the courts to sign off on the petition for divorce. There are a variety of ways to get to this point, but the best way to reach an uncontested divorce is with the help of an attorney. Contact the Law Office Of R. Timothy Hogan to speak with someone about your own options.
Ways of Reaching an Uncontested Divorce
Many people may begin a divorce process and feel like there is no way that they will be able to come to an agreement with their spouse on all of the relevant issues. In order for a court to approve a divorce, the spouses will need to agree on the division of debts and assets, the division of property, child support, child custody, and alimony. There are likely many other details that you and your spouse will additionally need to work out, but these are the major issues that the court needs to see resolved.
Luckily, there are established methods of reaching an agreement without the court.
Mediation is when the spouses agree to meet directly in order to work through each of these tricky issues and are guided by a third-party mediator. The mediator is committed to remaining unbiased during this process, so instead of helping one spouse or the other, they help each find common ground. In order to have a successful mediation process, you and your spouse will need to both understand that this is a collaborative process. Mediations can ultimately cause much less stress for both parties involved, because it is much less adversarial than a contested divorce.
If you and your spouse choose a collaborative divorce process instead of mediation, you will each hire your own attorney who will represent your best interests during negotiations. Unlike mediation, there is no disinterested third party, and instead, it will be a four-way meeting between you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys as you work through each of these tricky details.
This is a great option if both you and your spouse want to identify the best way forward, but may not be able to communicate directly with each other in a way that will be most productive. Collaborative divorces are generally done in good faith, where both spouses know that they are trying to reach fair common ground with the other party and will work to reach an agreement that suits everyone.
Filing for an Uncontested Divorce
Once you and your spouse are able to agree on all of the required factors necessary to have your divorce finalized, you will be able to bring documentation to the courts that lays out your contract for separation and explain how each issue was resolved. If the judge determines that the agreements are legal and fair, then they will sign off on the divorce.