“My spouse and I both want a divorce, does that make my case uncontested?”
“If our divorce is uncontested, how long will it take to get a final divorce judgment?”
“Since our divorce is uncontested, do my spouse and I have to complete a parenting class and exchange a financial disclosure?”
Many people assume that since they both want a divorce their case is uncontested and will proceed through the court system on an expedited basis. An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree to dissolve the marriage and agree all issues pertinent to their marriage. These issues may include but are not limited to the following issues:
- child support
- maintenance (formerly known as alimony)
- property division including the proposed disposition of any real estate, retirement accounts, personal property and other tangible or intangible property such as non vested stocks or pension plans or potential workman’s compensation awards or personal injury claims or proceeds
- debt allocation including but not limited to student loans, credit card debt, child related medical and educational debt or other debt
- an allocation of the parties’ attorney’s fees
Every proposed agreement must be approved by the Court. Agreements which are not in the best interests of your children, do not meet certain statutory requirements (such as the inclusion of a mediation clause in a joint parenting agreement), are grossly inequitable or fail to properly and legally address the issues above may not be approved by the Court. Even if you have an agreement, it is in your best interests to have a competent attorney draft the documentation necessary to reduce your agreement to an enforceable Judgment. Well drafted documents help limit litigation and disagreements after the divorce is finalized.
Well drafted documents inform each party as to his/her rights and obligations, finalize property allocations and provide short and long term care, custody, control and support arrangements for any children of the marriage.
If you and your spouse agree to dissolve your marriage and have reached an agreement on the above issues, Julie can advise you as to whether your proposed agreement is likely to be approved by the Court, draft the documents necessary to reduce your agreement to a legal and enforceable Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, bring the matter before the Court and elicit the testimony necessary to establish the grounds for the dissolution of marriage and the basis for any proposed property settlement and custody order. Cases that are truly uncontested may be resolved quickly and easily, with limited costs and limited legal fees thereby maximizing each person’s share of the marital estate.