Divorces are often heated and stressful, and they can drag on for several months or longer. If you have made the decision to end your marriage, you may find the process to be faster, easier and more beneficial to both parties overall if you file an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce means that both parties mutually agree to end the marriage. More than that, it means that both are in agreement with regards to all aspects of the divorce, including the division of assets, child custody, alimony and more. There are three basic things you can do to proceed with an uncontested divorce.
Speak With Your Ex in Detail About Finances
Finances are one of the issues that are most often contested in divorces, and you simply cannot move forward with an uncontested divorce if you cannot agree on how assets will be divided. Make a list of all assets together. Include financial institutions and account balances on your list. Also, list boats, cars, real estate and other assets along with their estimated current value. Consider a fair division of these assets. In addition, explore state laws regarding alimony. Consider if a spouse will receive alimony, how much that alimony may be, how long alimony will be paid and what the terms of the alimony are. For example, many alimony agreements state that payments cease if the receiving spouse gets re-married.
Make Child Custody Plans Together
If you have children from the marriage, you will also need to spend ample time discussing the best care arrangements for the kids. It is wise to consider what is in the best interest of the kids as well as what their preferences are. In addition, consider the needs and rights of both parents when making this important decision. Most parents can mutually agree on a scenario that works well for everyone, and they may create a plan that is more equitable than a structure that the court would establish. The issue of child support may also need to be discussed. Alimony that has previously been decided may need to be revised after child care is taken into consideration. The spouse paying for these expenses may understandably need to scale back his or her lifestyle, but this party should still be able to live comfortably while making the payments.
Hire Your Own Lawyer
Some people think that they do not need to consult with a legal team if their divorce is uncontested, but this is not necessarily true. Your lawyer can review your agreed upon terms to determine if they are fair and legal as well as to ensure that they are in your best interest. In addition, he or she can ensure that you have covered all of the bases in your agreement. Legal documents can also be prepared and field on your behalf, and this can drastically streamline the process. Keep in mind that it is a conflict of interest for one attorney to represent both spouses, so you will need to hire your own legal professional to assist with the divorce process.
Divorce can be a messy, complicated issue that requires considerable time and effort to move beyond. Even those who are moving forward with an uncontested divorce may struggle to find common ground in some situations. In most cases, however, couples will be able to reach a resolution on their own without having to ask the court to issue a ruling. If you have decided to proceed with an uncontested divorce, it can be helpful to find the right attorney to represent you as a first step in the process.