What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all issues related to their separation and marriage dissolution. This process is usually quicker than a contested divorce, but the circumstances vary per state, county, and courthouse. 

An uncontested divorce doesn’t require a trial and other time-consuming legal procedures. But spouses must meet the requirements before proceeding. In this case, it’d be best to speak to a experienced divorce attorney for legal counsel and to help determine your state’s courthouse-specific requirements.

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is where spouses don’t agree on the terms of the divorce. A spouse may disagree on various issues such as child custody terms, child support, marital property, and how to divide debts, among other crucial elements. Since spouses can’t agree, they end up in court so the judge can solve their issues.

Whether you have one or more issues, once you go to court over any divorce-related matter, it becomes a contested divorce. The judge might prioritize some concerns over others depending on the weight of the matter. However, this may not be the preference of the couple. For instance, a partner may want a house while the other would prefer a car. But the court may order the home sold and the other spouse to have the car.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take?

Generally, uncontested divorce takes less time, depending on the circumstances of the case and your state. Since spouses can agree quickly on finalizing their marriage without constant negotiations, the process may take less time. It could take a month or more if problems arise during the finalization.

There is usually no trial in an uncontested case. This is why it takes a short time. Once the spouses sign and submit the required papers, the case can move quickly through the court. The judge will analyze your papers, ensure they are okay, and grant you the divorce.

For a smooth process, the spouse should communicate effectively and work together. Tools to divide property quickly, like interspousal transfer deeds, may be used. However, this may not always be the case as some spouses can be hurt and may not want to communicate even though they are not contesting the divorce.

If you are experiencing issues communicating with your soon-to-be ex, seek legal guidance from an experienced divorce attorney. The attorney can guide you and help you reach an agreement on the outstanding issues.

How Much Does It Cost to File an Uncontested Divorce?

In many cases, an uncontested divorce is cheaper than a contested divorce. Couples will likely pay court fees to start the legal process. The fees vary from state to state, so it is best to check with the court clerk within your county or state to determine the fees. Typically, the fees range between $200 and $400.

You can apply for a waiver if you can’t afford to pay the legal costs. This is allowed in all states. You may want to simplify the process by hiring a divorce attorney to help you. In this case, you will have to pay attorney fees. The fees depend on the lawyer and your state. It is imperative to speak to a divorce lawyer and determine how much they charge for an uncontested divorce.

Can I Get Divorced Without Going To Court?

Yes. You can get divorced without going to court under uncontested divorce. This happens once you and your spouse agree on the divorce terms. You may need to put everything in writing and seek approval from the judge. While you won’t go to trial, you must create a settlement agreement and submit it to the judge. Plenty of paperwork is involved, including “serving” your partner.

While you can represent yourself in an uncontested divorce, it’d be best to hire an experienced divorce attorney to help you file the paperwork and solve any outstanding issues. A family law attorney can handle the entire process for you, reducing the risk of making mistakes that could compromise your best interests.