An uncontested divorce is much faster and cheaper than a contested divorce—because both parties already agree on the terms. You both have worked out a custody agreement, child support, visitation, and a divide of any property and money that you may have without the help of a judge. How exactly should you prepare for it then?
Find out how an Orlando uncontested divorce lawyer can help you
What Is the Best Way to Prepare for an Uncontested Divorce?
You and your spouse have decided to divorce and have worked out all the issues together. In this case, you do not need a judge, but you do still need to complete all the necessary documentation to end your marriage legally.
The requirements for divorce do depend on your state of residency. Some states require that you be a resident for at least six months, while others require there to be some sort of “fault” in the divorce, like adultery or abuse.
You may also file a “no-fault” divorce, which can be filed if your marriage is entirely unsalvageable, or if a spouse is mentally incapacitated. Even in this case, you will need to settle your details with documentation.
You will begin by filling out a Petition of Dissolution of Marriage to let the court know everything you and your spouse have already agreed to. Since your divorce is uncontested, this should be a relatively straightforward process, although some places may require a very brief court appearance in a final hearing.
You may also want to fill out a Marital Settlement agreement at this point. While you can provide each other with an oral agreement concerning how you want to divide your assets, it’s often best to use this written contract to ensure that your terms are memorialized. You can actually do this before or after the divorce, but you should ensure that your terms remain in place long term.
How to File
Just file the petition by giving a copy to the clerk in your county and paying any applicable filing fees. You then must “serve” your petition to your spouse, which can be done through a sheriff or a private process server. You may bypass this process if they sign and file an Acceptance and Waiver of Service of Process by the Sheriff.
Now, while an uncontested divorce will typically not require much time in court, you will still need to fill out a Parenting Plan before receiving a judge’s approval. In addition, if the judge does not think that your agreement will be in the best interest of your children, they have the option of rejecting it.
You have everything filed and approved now, but you will not be divorced immediately. There will be a mandatory 20-day waiting period from when you file your petition to when a judge can provide a final judgment that will grant your divorce.
Cost of an Uncontested Divorce
All of this will generally be less expensive than using an attorney to negotiate your terms, but there might still be a cost with your divorce.
It depends partly on whether you prepare your forms yourself, whether you use a lawyer, and whether you have put anything in writing. Overall, the process should be definitely quicker and certainly less expensive, but even at minimum, you will definitely at least need to pay all applicable filing fees.
Divorce doesn’t have to be a drawn-out, tense process. It may not be easy still, but an uncontested divorce will at least make the whole thing run that much more smoothly. Your only struggle should be figuring out which forms you need to fill out and how to file them. Don’t hesitate to consult us to make the entire process easier and more straightforward for yourself. Once you have the right forms filed, you can possibly be divorced in less than a month.