If both you and your spouse not only agree that it’s time to divorce, but you also agree on major property, financial and child-related decisions, you may consider pursuing a non-contested divorce.
“Non-contested divorce” is just what it sounds like. One spouse, through an attorney, files the appropriate paperwork, which includes the grounds for divorce, as well as arrangements for property division, child custody and support, and any other important issues between the couple. The other spouse will then agree to the divorce, or simply not make an appearance, and the court grants the divorce.
However, the other spouse objects and files the appropriate paperwork to contest the proceedings, then the court will not grant the divorce. In that case, you must seek out another solution.
In any event, it is important that the parties understand that an attorney only represents the party who hired him or her—not both parties—in a non-contested divorce.
Why Choose a Non-Contested Divorce?
The benefits of a non-contested divorce are many, and start with the lack of antagonism between soon-to-be-ex-spouses. More tangibly, though, divorce in this manner can save both spouses a lot of money, both in attorney’s fees and court costs. You should have legal representation, regardless the type of divorce you pursue, but streamlined proceedings inevitably mean lower costs to you.
Moreover, you should be able to wrap up the divorce more quickly in a non-contested situation. Again, fewer court proceedings and filings mean things can keep moving at a steady pace and allow you to start life after divorce that much faster.
Privacy is another benefit of a non-contested proceedings. Just like any divorce, your divorce and its accompanying paperwork still become part of the public record, but you and your spouse can agree how much personal information—including financial—to include in the filings.
When a Non-Contested Divorce May Not Be a Good Idea
If you and your spouse can’t agree on certain issues, or if you have a particularly complicated property situation, your divorce may not be a good candidate for a non-contested process. In this instance, you might consider a mediated or collaborative divorce to work out the terms.
However, if you and your spouse can work out most issues together, without the assistance of a third party, a non-contested divorce may be the solution for you.
Mary C. Neff, JD | Attorney | email@example.com | (314) 454-9100 ext. 109 | Learn more about Mary