Divorces carry a reputation for being long, drawn out battles between spouses, and in many cases, that's exactly what happens. However, it doesn't have to be this way. If you and your spouse agree that you want a divorce and want it to be a quick, simple affair, you may qualify for uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce offer marriage relief for couples who are willing to prioritize finalizing a divorce over lengthy negotiations about every issue.
If you think that you and your spouse may want to pursue an uncontested divorce, it is important to make sure you both have a solid understanding of everything that an uncontested divorce includes. For instance, here In California, we use community property rules to determine property division, which may place greater restrictions than other states on how you can divide your marital property.
Also, it is important to know that, even if you and your spouse agree that you want an uncontested divorce, you may not qualify within California's parameters for uncontested divorce, depending on the complexity of your assets and some other factors.
No matter how you choose to approach your divorce, it is wise to enlist the guidance of an attorney to help determine your eligibility for uncontested divorce and make sure that you and your spouse fully understand the process.
Advantages of uncontested divorce
Uncontested divorce offers several distinct advantages. In broad strokes, when you agree together to keep your divorce simple and amicable, filing for uncontested divorce allows you to finalize the divorce much more quickly than a traditionally litigated divorce.
You may even save significantly on the cost of the divorce itself. Most of the expense in any divorce arises when couples choose to fight over particular issues, drawing out the process.
Uncontested divorces also require fewer official disclosures as a part of the divorce proceedings, which allows you and your spouse to retain a higher degree of privacy. Remember, any information that you disclose as part of the official divorce proceeding is public thereafter.
Drawbacks to uncontested divorce
The most significant drawback to uncontested divorce is that there is no room for any disagreement about the terms of the divorce itself. This means that you and your spouse must reach agreement about everything from property division and spousal support to child support and custody arrangements at the very beginning of the process and stand by these arrangements.
For many couples, the complexity of divorce is not clear until they begin walking through the process. Even if you both want a divorce as soon as possible and want to keep it professional and amicable, reaching fair agreements about every single issue is often not possible. In general, families with complex assets or child custody issues to consider may find uncontested divorce impractical.
However you choose to proceed, make sure that you and your spouse fully understand everything that your divorce must address, so that you can reach fair, final agreements on each point.