It’s no secret that divorce can be messy, unpleasant, and complicated. It magnifies personal conflicts between the parties and puts a major strain on family relationships.
In some cases, if the spouses are able to reach an agreement as to how all divorce-related issues can be resolved, this potentially expensive and burdensome process can be resolved amicably and fairly quickly.
Our team at Diamond Divorce Law has been helping couples draft these types of divorces for decades. We’ve written this article to provide some insights into an uncontested divorce, its benefits for each party, effective strategies for obtaining an uncontested divorce, and steps to expedite the process.
As with most legal situations involving family, there are no clear-cut answers and it’s always prudent to engage a qualified family law attorney as early as possible.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
The divorce process often involves multiple letters, telephone calls, emails, meetings, and court appearances — all of which can lead up to hefty costs. That’s why resolving all the issues (including contested issues) between you and your spouse early on saves you money and, most likely, aggravation.
Typical issues in a divorce include the equitable division of marital property and debt and, when there are children involved, matters relating to the children. But in an uncontested divorce, there are no issues in dispute.
A divorce settlement is basically the resolution of numerous contractual disputes – some small and some big. It could be simply agreeing who gets the cat or as complicated as how to divide hundreds of thousands of dollars and numerous real estate parcels.
Regardless, you work with your attorney to settle these issues in an uncontested divorce.
What are the Issues?
Do you believe you can work out the issues with your spouse? If so, both of you can look forward to saving some money by avoiding a contested divorce.
Make sure, however, that you are aware of all the issues that need to be resolved. These include, but are not limited to:
- Parenting time (custody)
- Spousal support/maintenance
- Child support
- Tax exemptions
- Medical and dental expenses for children
- Life insurance for children
- Support for non-minor children
- College expenses
- Health and medical insurance
- Real estate
- Automobiles and other powered vehicles
- Unemployment benefits
- Household furnishings
- Personal effects
- Attorney fees
In an uncontested divorce, couples come to an understanding on all of these issues, and any disagreements that may stem from them are avoided. In other words, these issues are “uncontested” by the parties.
What are the Advantages to an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
There are many advantages to obtaining an uncontested divorce. In addition to avoiding seemingly endless arguments regarding property division, custody battles or debt responsibility, there are also administrative benefits to the process.
Uncontested divorces can result in less paperwork, less expense to both parties, fewer confrontations and a faster emotional recovery time for everyone involved.
Paperwork relating to division of property, allocation of debt, and parenting responsibilities is streamlined, as are the required legal pleadings and documentation required by the court.
Are there Drawbacks to an Uncontested Divorce in Illinois?
While uncontested divorces are generally advantageous, they may not be the right choice for everyone.
Couples with complex or disputed property arrangements, or who are likely to disagree about child or spousal support should carefully consider whether an uncontested divorce is the best path forward.
Although the benefits of simplicity and cost-saving may seem attractive on their face, it shouldn’t come at the expense of long-term financial goals or familial happiness.
Additionally, the simplified process of the uncontested divorce is not always available in certain situations. Many jurisdictions do not permit uncontested divorces if the couple have children.
Legal matters involving children should not be underestimated, and you should have legal representation to ensure their best interests are upheld.
How to Prepare for an Uncontested Divorce
The best way to prepare for an uncontested divorce is to first educate yourself so that you have realistic expectations and have some idea about how various issues will be addressed. This can be done by confidentially speaking with a qualified divorce attorney before you start discussing things with your spouse.
The next step is to establish open communication — both with your divorce attorney and your spouse. The goal in an uncontested divorce is to ensure that there are no arguments or challenges in the divorce process. By establishing an open line of communication with your spouse, you can talk about all potential contests and come to an agreement on each issue in the divorce. You want to put everything on the table and decide who gets what. Hiding matters or failure to fully disclose unresolved issues will ultimately end up in increased legal fees.
In preparing for this open communication, it is crucial that you gather all relevant information concerning the marriage, including the relevant parties and the pertinent assets. Precise and proper organization is vital to producing a final resolution. This is where it becomes very beneficial to engage a qualified family law attorney with experience managing uncontested divorces.
Contact Diamond Divorce Law today
With Diamond Divorce Law on your side, you can be confident that your uncontested divorce will be resolved quickly, amicably and to your satisfaction. Some uncontested divorces can be completed for a flat fee. Contact us today for a free consultation.