Are you and your spouse contemplating a divorce? If so, did you know that if you both agree to the divorce, it can save you both a lot of time and money?
An uncontested divorce, also known as an “amicable divorce”, is a process in which both spouses enter into an agreement consenting to end their marriage. The keys to the success of an uncontested divorce are cooperation and communication. Together the spouses come to an agreement on the division of assets, the settling of debts, child custody, child support, alimony, and any other pertinent issues relevant to the divorce. Further, the parties to an uncontested divorce are generally able to avoid making a lot of court appearances.
The Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce
Since an uncontested divorce tends to be a cooperative process, there are significant benefits to an uncontested divorce:
- The avoidance of costly attorneys’ fees.
- The parties versus a judge decide on what terms of the divorce are fair, such as division of assets and debts, child custody, alimony, and child support.
- A final divorce decree can be obtained rather quickly.
- The process reduces the emotional stress the parties and their children may suffer as a result of a drawn-out divorce.
Preparing for an Uncontested Divorce
Below sets forth some initial steps that should be taken to make sure the process goes smoothly:
- Gather financial information such as tax returns, bank account statements, retirement savings statements, credit card statements, real estate documents, mortgage statements, business investment statements, insurance policies, debts, and expenses.
- Speak with a qualified divorce attorney and answer all of the attorney’s questions thoroughly and truthfully.
- Also consider speaking with a psychologist or therapist to address any fears or concerns regarding the divorce.
The Responsibilities of a Divorce Attorney
The following provides a general idea of what divorce attorneys do for their clients.
- Communicate with the other spouse’s attorney.
- File a Complaint for Divorce on behalf of their client.
- Analyze all issues and documentation with their client along with educating them on the pertinent issues so an informed decision can be made by their client.
- Negotiate a settlement agreement that is favorable to their client and reflects the terms agreed to by the parties.
- Prepare the Judgment of Divorce to be submitted and signed by the judge.
- Attend the uncontested court hearing on their client’s behalf.
The Uncontested Divorce Hearing
The last step in an uncontested divorce is the uncontested divorce hearing. While this hearing may be stressful to the parties because they will most likely need to appear in court and answer questions, it should be noted that the uncontested divorce hearing is simply a formality. The settlement agreement between the parties has already been negotiated and agreed to and therefore, the hearing is the final step before the final divorce decree is issued.
Below describes what usually takes place at an uncontested divorce hearing:
- Both spouses will take an oath, affirming to tell the truth
- Whichever party filed for divorce (i.e., the plaintiff) goes first and is asked a series of simple questions by his or her attorney. For example, the plaintiff may be asked:
o Place of residence
o Date of marriage
o Names and birthdates of any children
o Whether there are any grounds for divorce
- If the other spouse (i.e., the defendant) filed a counterclaim, then he or she will be asked by their attorney similar questions
- Upon the conclusion of the questioning, and provided the judge is satisfied by the questions and answers provided, the divorce will be granted.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Julio Portilla PC will make sure that you get what is fair and what you deserve and are able to serve a diverse population, including Spanish-speaking clients.