People who are facing the possibility of ending their marriages often worry about the emotional strain of the divorce process, especially if minor children are involved. One of the most certain methods of reducing this strain is to strive for an uncontested divorce. As the names imply, an uncontested divorce is one in which the divorcing parties have been able to negotiate a mutually satisfactory agreement on all issues, including alimony, property division, child custody and child support.
The principal benefit of an uncontested or no-fault divorce is the relative brevity of the proceeding and the elimination of the need to present evidence in open court. Uncontested divorces can usually be resolved by the parties negotiating face-to-face, sometimes with the assistance of attorneys. The process is usually much faster than a contested divorce, and the parties generally do not experience as much stress as parties to a contested divorce. The brevity of an uncontested divorce also produces another important benefit: the costs are generally reduced because attorneys are not required to put as much time into uncontested cases as they may put into a contested divorce.
Before pursuing the uncontested path to a divorce, both parties should give careful thought to whether an uncontested divorce is appropriate for their individual situation. Many couples have complex property arrangements that should be resolved with the involvement of attorney and, in especially difficult cases, the court. If one spouse has experience with monetary matters that the other spouse lacks, the involvement of lawyers and the courts can help ensure a fair distribution of assets. Also, if child care arrangements are complex and if, for example, one spouse is planning to move to another state, getting the right information is crucial.