Uncontested Divorces Reduce Resolution Times, Court Appearances

Obtaining a divorce is a taxing experience, even when both parties are amicable and agree completely on the dissolution of the marriage and distribution of assets. The logistics of separating and splitting shared property as well as the legal process involve numerous precise steps, making seeking qualified legal help the best option when possible. An attorney can guide you and your spouse through the most common divorce filing types and all associated paperwork plus handle filing all essential documents for an uncontested divorce

Divorce types

For the most streamlined divorce filings, an uncontested divorce is the path forward. While divorce laws can vary from state to state, an uncontested divorce generally requires either complete agreement on all aspects of the divorce or a lack of response on the part of the respondent. 

This divorce type requires the least wait time to process for couples without children and can even be completed with a waiting period in some states. Other states require a separation period prior to or after filing before final processing, such as 180 days in Louisiana. When children are involved, the waiting period extends to one year, even if custody arrangements are not an issue. 

A contested divorce is more complex and requires additional time in and out of court to handle. Negotiations via attorneys and mediators often take place before a final proceeding in the courtroom where a judge will hear testimony and review evidence before making the final judgment call on the dissolution of assets or child custody. While an uncontested divorce can be pursued with the couple acting as their own legal counsel, in a contested divorce, the services of an attorney are crucial for a successful outcome.

Filings and supplemental filings

To start uncontested divorce proceedings, an initial petition is filed. This may be filed before or after a separation period. If it is after the legally-required separation, the petition is served on the respondent and a brief waiting period passes before the final case paperwork moves forward.

In addition to filing all primary filings with the court, divorce attorneys also help with supplemental paperwork required for uncontested divorce proceedings, such as a statement outlining property separation or custody agreements. In some states, using a lawyer can help both the petitioner and respondent avoid court altogether as the court will rely on signed, notarized documents to validate that both parties are in agreement with filings. As long as the lawyer is acting as a representative and makes any mandatory appearances, the case can move forward without personal appearances by one or both parties through the final divorce decree.

For more information, contact a company like Davis Law Firm.