What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

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What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

May 28 2023
By Virginia Family Law Center

Getting divorced is undeniably one of the toughest transitions anyone can experience. As you’re caught between legal paperwork and the emotional highs and lows, you’ll be grateful to have an attorney at your side. An uncontested divorce may involve fewer legal disputes than a contested one, but that doesn’t mean you can do it alone. Contact Virginia Family Law for concrete advice regarding your divorce case. 

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a type of divorce where both parties agree on the issues involved in the case, if any. The major issues in the case are settled by the spouses rather than in a trial where the courts would need to make those decisions. 

The guidelines for an uncontested divorce vary by state. For instance, Virginia couples seeking a divorce must fulfill certain residency requirements and wait for a certain amount of time before the courts can legally terminate the marriage. It is also highly recommended that the parties sign a marital settlement agreement that outlines the provisions of the divorce:

  • Property division
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support payments
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Other relevant issues

How to Get an Uncontested Divorce

Your first step in an uncontested divorce is to talk about it with your spouse. The foundation of an uncontested divorce is that you both agree to separate and decide upon the issues related to the divorce. After filing a petition for divorce, you’ll submit a settlement agreement and may need to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. A hearing will take place to confirm that you and your spouse agree to the terms of the divorce, and the judge will sign the final judgment. 

Differences Between an Uncontested and Contested Divorce

Uncontested divorce often means lower costs and a more efficient process. If the other party disagrees with any issues in the divorce decree, however, the case will become a contested divorce. The process of finalizing a contested divorce generally takes more time since the courts will have to settle various disagreements between both parties. Some cases can become accusatory, such as claiming one spouse is hiding assets, and these matters take time to resolve. Conversely, an uncontested divorce does not involve the same complicated issues, and therefore takes less time to finalize.  

The Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce

In general, an uncontested divorce costs less money since it requires less time in court to resolve disagreements. Many couples also preserve some degree of a relationship after an uncontested divorce, which can help relieve stress related to child custody and shared parental responsibilities in the future. The mutual commitment to their settlement agreement can also mean both spouses are likely to adhere to the orders once the divorce is finalized, therefore involving less arguing and unnecessary hearings down the line. 

Discuss Uncontested Divorce With an Attorney

If you are planning on getting divorced, you should speak to a knowledgeable attorney before proceeding. Divorce is often complex, and it’s easier to protect your best interests alongside an attorney who can advocate for you. Virginia Family Law is ready to support you. Talk to our attorney at a consultation to learn whether uncontested divorce is an option for you.

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