If you and your spouse agree to end your marriage, an uncontested divorce may be an option to consider. Here are four facts about this process and why it may work best for you.
1. The Filing Process Is Streamlined
If you and your spouse agree on all the details of your divorce, it is considered uncontested. Even if this is the path you take, the filing fee, residency requirements and waiting period are the same as filing for a contested divorce. To file, you and your spouse create a settlement agreement that states the terms of your decision. You should include the following:
- child custody or visiting arrangements
- child support payments
- distribution or sale of property
- spousal support
When you have agreed on all the details of your uncontested divorce Tampa, you need to file the petition and the settlement paperwork with the court. Once the required waiting period passes, you may have to appear for a hearing with the judge where he or she signs the final divorce decree.
2. An Uncontested Divorce Saves You Money
While the filing fees may be the same regardless of the divorce, you may save on attorney’s fees if it is uncontested. Some states allow you and your spouse to file an uncontested divorce without consulting with an attorney. However, it’s always a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable professional to ensure you proceed correctly through the divorce. If you hire a lawyer, you don’t need to pay them as much because there usually aren’t settlement agreement meetings, evidence collection or multiple court hearings in an uncontested divorce. This results in a lower bill from your attorney.
3. The Divorce Process May Be Faster
While the speed of your divorce depends on the state’s waiting requirement, an uncontested divorce is usually faster to get through. This is because there are fewer meetings with the judge and your lawyers. Some states allow uncontested divorces to proceed with a shorter wait time, and others don’t even require an in-person appearance with the judge.
4. You Can Change To a Contested Divorce
If you and your spouse suddenly disagree about a previously settled item, you do have the option to contest the divorce. You can do this up until the judge signs the final papers. When you decide to proceed this way, you should have an attorney represent you through the rest of the process. If the judge has already signed your decree and one party doesn’t adhere to the arrangements, you must file a new claim to amend the divorce.