When it comes to ending a marriage, the process can quickly become overwhelming and complicated – not to mention the emotional toll it can take on the couple involved. However, there are scenarios when the spouses agree between each other on how to segregate their marital assets, handle custody, visitation, and child support issues, and ultimately remain civil towards each other – also known as an uncontested divorce. It may be challenging for couples who are divorcing to arrive at this point, but the advantages this agreement brings can be extremely beneficial considering the circumstances.

In today’s post, let’s look at the pros and cons of this type of divorce and what the possible effects are.

The Pros

With an uncontested divorce, the marriage has a chance to end without too much hatred, bitterness, and anger between the divorcing couple; it allows the divorcing spouses to put an end to their marriage with dignity and respect.

Additionally, the most obvious benefit of this type of divorce process is the cost. Since the divorcing spouses’ level of conflict is low, an uncontested divorce helps keep the circumstances that way. It’s the least expensive way end a divorce because it promotes cooperation between the divorcing couple. It also allows for a possibility to keep the marital assets between the divorcing couple and their children – and not in the hands of divorce attorneys, accountants, and other parties involved in putting on a divorce proceeding.

The Cons

An uncontested divorce is not the ideal solution when one spouse is a victim of abuse of the other. If there is a history of violence – whether emotional or physical – or if there is some level of disparity in authority in the relationship, it usually ends in one spouse getting a partial and unfair advantage over the other. The abused spouse will most likely require the services of a divorce lawyer to represent and advocate for them under these circumstances.

This type of divorce is also not recommended when the divorcing couple is not capable of carrying out a conversation without bickering. If your spouse rejects any discussion about the divorce or any other matter and always ends it with a fight, then you will likely need to go with a contested divorce proceeding with the help of a divorce attorney. Also, if one or both of the divorcing spouses are keen on taking a more significant share of the marital assets or keeping particular properties, then this could result in an intractable agreement that may not be smoothly settled in an uncontested divorce.

Lastly, uncontested divorces are not ideal if either of your spouses is not confident with the law or are incapable of going through the process and the necessary paperwork on your own. While uncontested divorces are relatively straightforward, there are legalities that you need to understand and get familiar with. You will also have to include relatively comprehensive financial declarations by each of the divorcing spouses. If this feat is intimidating to you, then we strongly recommend that you hire an experienced divorce attorney to help you with the process.

How It Works

First of all, an uncontested divorce can be accomplished by you – without the help of a lawyer. If you do, however, employ the services of one, the lawyer you will get cannot represent you and your spouse both. With any divorce proceeding – whether it’s contested or uncontested – the couple will always have their own set of unique demands and interests. Thus, the ethical principles with which lawyers follow will require that they represent only one of the divorcing spouses – never both of them. The divorce lawyer you hire will need to know first and foremost who he or she is representing.

Typically, each jurisdiction will need for you to file the documents required to initiate a divorce proceeding. These documents include a petition for divorce, proofs of both parties’ awareness and participation in the process, financial disclosures, settlement plan and agreement, and proposed judgment. Some jurisdictions may require you to participate in couples therapy programs before they event grant the divorce.

After gathering and completing the required documents, the divorcing spouses need to sign and file them. In some jurisdictions, the process ends there; the case is handled based on the documentation you submitted. The only thing you need to do is to wait to receive the divorce decision in the mail. In other jurisdictions, you and your spouse may be required to attend a hearing attesting to the truthfulness of the paperwork you submitted.

Rhonda J. Alessi

Family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ. Married to my fantastic husband George. We are proud owners of our fennec fox, Fifi. Running marathons is my stress reliever. I'm a bookworm and initially wanted to use this domain to sell books online. I later changed my mind and decided to start this blog instead. Then an interesting thought came to me. Why not write about more than one type of law and provide the public with substantial material on the worth of attorneys?