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What's an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is exactly what it sounds like — when both spouses agree that divorce is the most logical and reasonable next step in their relationship. However, the spouses must also agree to a variety of issues relating to their split. These include property distribution, child custody and support, spousal support and other vital concerns.

When spouses can reach accord on the most relevant issues relating to their divorce, filing it uncontested will save them an enormous amount of time, money and emotional baggage.

When is an uncontested divorce applicable?

The most important part of any uncontested divorce is coming to out-of-court agreements that apply to child custody, post-marital financial support and asset division. However, uncontested divorces begin just like any other — one spouse has to file a divorce pleading.

Once the court establishes the matter falls under the category of "uncontested," the spouses benefit from a streamlined process requiring them to file paperwork detailing their asset division, child custody and support agreements. They will also have to file statements that detail the grounds for the divorce.

If, after filing the initial divorce petition, the other spouse files a response that contests it, the divorce will be contested. Thus, it will require more time and attention on the part of the court, the spouses and their respective attorneys because contested divorces tend to involve more challenges in terms of financing and time commitments.

An uncontested divorce won't work for everyone

There are some spouses for whom an uncontested divorce won't work. For example, if the spouses have difficulty coming to agreement and cannot diplomatically resolve their disputes. While some of these spouses may benefit from a mediation process that involves a neutral third party who helps them navigate their differences, others will simply never agree and must resort to litigation to conclude their marriages.

Are you and your spouse good candidates for an uncontested divorce?

After reading this article and discussing important matters with your spouse, you'll probably have a good idea about whether an uncontested divorce could work to dissolve your marriage. If you remain committed to peaceful conflict resolution and maintain a diplomatic and respectful stance, you'll be well on your way to a divorce that saves you time, money and stress.

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