An uncontested divorce, or “simplified dissolution of marriage” is when both parties in the marriage are in agreement with the major issues involved when filing for divorce. This can include:
- The division of all assets and property
- The division of any and all debts
- The amount and duration of any spousal support, also known as alimony
- The amount of time-sharing and parental responsibility each parent will have with their children
- The amount and duration of child support payments.
When both parties are in agreement, they can file their agreement along with their petition for divorce and avoid any court appearances. Once the required time period based on state law has passed, the divorce will then be final.
An uncontested divorce is simplest when it involves no minor children and little to no joint assets or debts. It typically works best when each spouse is self-supporting or is able to easily become self-sustaining with little financial support from the other spouse. Most often we see uncontested divorce proceedings happen with short marriages of 5 years or less.
Typically an uncontested divorce is far less expensive than contested divorces. Couples that can agree are often only obligated to pay the court filing fees (typically, just a few hundred dollars) and their individual attorney’s fees. By staying out of court each spouse can save thousands of dollars in litigation and court fees.