We get a lot of calls in the office from people who tell us they have an uncontested divorce. Truth is, they don’t all have uncontested divorces, for lots of different reasons that we’re not going to go into today. But that brings me to this question -what is an uncontested divorce? Is it the same as Agreed Divorce? And, why does it matter?
There are two ways to have an uncontested divorce. One way to have an uncontested divorce is to have a situation where both husband and wife agree on everything – EVERYTHING. Everything, in an uncontested divorce, means that they both want the divorce, both agree to the property division (who takes what), both agree to the terms regarding liabilities and debts (who is responsible for what and who is going to pay what), both agree to all of the child sections including possession schedule and times and child support, and anything else that they agree to, and want to include in the decree like spousal maintenance or international travel requirements.
The other way to have an uncontested divorce is when one party is in default and is not contesting the divorce. Default is when someone is served with citation (formal notice of the divorce that contains a deadline to appear in the case) and doesn’t appear in the divorce case by filing pleadings in response to the service by the deadline or otherwise not making a required appearance in the divorce case. Some of the divorce pleadings that could be filed after being served with citation in divorce are an Answer, an Answer with an Original Counterpetition or another pleading in which they make an appearance.
When you have an uncontested divorce, you may not have any divorce issues that you disagree with your soon to be ex-spouse about in the divorce. You may not need temporary hearings or to get temporary orders during the divorce. And, sometimes with uncontested divorces they can be finished very quickly and that means they can be much less expensive. And, rarely when everything moves really smoothly, an uncontested divorce can finish right after the waiting period is over – on day 61 after filing the Original Petition for Divorce.
However, sometimes an uncontested divorce is when both spouses in a divorce agree that the divorce is the right choice, but don’t agree about anything else. And, every other divorce issue or divorce question is an area that the spouses disagree.
So there could be benefits to an uncontested divorce, but there’s a chance there could still be divorce issues and divorce areas to work toward an divorce agreement or divorce settlement. And, as always, find an experienced divorce attorney or family law attorney to work with you.
Call today to set up an consultation with Jill O’Connell, Esq. about uncontested divorce or agreed divorce, 972-203-6644.