Your Essential Guide to Uncontested Divorces

Imagine a peaceful divorce process where you and your spouse agree on all matters at hand. This is called an uncontested divorce.

Divorce mediation makes healthy divorce possible. When both spouses cooperate and make decisions together, the process is quicker and less stressful.

This article will offer essential information on uncontested divorce to guide you on a more harmonious path.

What is an uncontested divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on the terms of their process. There is no need to argue over grounds for divorce, legal grounds for separation, or any other type of fault-based grounds. Together, they are able to reach all agreements, including division of assets and, if they have kids, how they will spend time with them going forward.

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In an uncontested divorce, a judge doesn’t make the big decisions for you. Instead, you and your spouse work it out yourselves. This makes uncontested divorce a relatively quick and less expensive option.

That said, this doesn’t mean you and your spouse have to agree on everything from the start. After all, disputes during divorce are normal. It’s important to keep conflict as low as possible for the well-being of everyone involved, including you, your co-parent, and your children. Mediation helps you work through any disagreements and avoid the stress and uncertainty of a courtroom divorce battle.

A third-party divorce mediator supports you and your spouse through discussions that reveal answers that work for both of you. Rather than “taking sides” in court, mediation allows you to work together. With the common goal of finding the best possible agreement, you don’t have to fight. You can stick to your values and bring your best self to your process through mediation.

Choosing an uncontested divorce with mediation can make things easier for you. It helps you save time, funds, and stress. Plus, it lets you and your spouse stay in control of all decisions about what’s best for your future — and your kids’ futures.

A mediator can help make sure you’ve addressed all necessary topics in your divorce filing. They will also assist you by writing your divorce agreements in a way the courts will accept.

What is the difference between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on all of the important details. They work together to decide on division of property and, if they share minor children, how they’ll arrange child custody. This path is usually much faster and less costly than a contested divorce.

A contested divorce in court, on the other hand, often leaves the important decisions (including those regarding the division of assets and liabilities and the custody of children) to a judge. This process can take a long time and is usually very costly. It will also lengthen the time it takes for your divorce to become official.

So, the biggest difference between contested and uncontested is whether the spouses agree on the details of their divorce agreements.

Whether a divorce is contested or uncontested, choosing mediation over a courtroom divorce makes things easier for both spouses. It’s about finding common ground and making decisions together, which is better for everyone — especially the children — in the long run. You don’t have to go to court.

What are the requirements for an uncontested divorce?

Over 673,000 divorces occur in the US annually. The majority of these are uncontested.

As mentioned, to get an uncontested divorce settlement agreement, you and your spouse must agree on all of the decisions you need to make. This includes how to divide marital assets, handle finance matters, and arrange for parenting time.

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Pathways to filing for an uncontested divorce

There are a few ways to reach an uncontested divorce in mediation:

  • Reaching agreements before mediation meetings: Here, you and your spouse work through the details of the divorce yourselves, deciding how to separate everything and making plans for your kids before meeting with a mediator to finalize these agreement; or
  • Reaching agreements in mediation meetings: A mediator helps you understand your options and talk things through to reach creative agreements. They don’t take sides; they just provide legal assistance. They’re a guide who helps you both move forward on a positive path.

Are there different types of uncontested divorces?

Yes, there can be a bit of variety in the divorce proceedings in uncontested divorces. Some types are simple, with both spouses agreeing right away. Others might start with fundamental disagreements but end up with the spouses agreeing after talking things through — with the help of a mediator, for instance.

Mediation works for most types of divorce

No matter the situation or type of divorce, mediation works as long as both spouses are willing to work together. A mediator helps everyone stay on track and find agreeable solutions. A mediator will also cost you much less than a divorce lawyer.

So, the main requirement for an uncontested divorce is agreement between the spouses. Whether you figure your divorce judgment out on your own or with a mediator’s help, it’s important that both of you are willing to cooperate and reach decisions together. This leads to a smoother end to the marriage, letting you both move forward peacefully.

A note of caution about DIY divorce: Divorce is complex, and failing to address an important topic or using incorrect document language can lead to delays. You deserve the support and guidance of a professional to make your process as simple and easy as possible.

What are the advantages of an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce offers many advantages over a courtroom battle. Here are a few of them:

Quicker resolution

An uncontested divorce means there’s no fighting between spouses in court. As a result, you can resolve your divorce more quickly.

Less expensive

The average cost of divorce in the United States is $15,000–$20,000 per spouse.

Going to court costs a lot, but when you can reach agreements and have an uncontested divorce, you won’t have to spend as much.

Less stressful

Agreeing rather than arguing makes things easier mentally and emotionally. It’s less stressful for everyone, including kids.

This is a woman playing with her daughter.

Better control over outcomes

In an uncontested divorce, you make the decisions instead of a judge. This means you have control over what happens to your marital assets, finances, and kids.

You can opt for mediation

A mediator can help you move from disagreement to agreement. They don’t take sides. Instead, they help you find solutions that work for both of you.

So, an uncontested divorce is not only quicker, cheaper, and less stressful than a contested one, but it also gives you more control over the outcome. Even if you start with disagreements, a mediator can help you find common ground. That way, you can end your marriage as smoothly as possible, keeping in mind the best interests of everyone involved.

Do I need an attorney for an uncontested divorce?

You might wonder if you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce. The short answer is: not necessarily. In mediation, you can choose to have a legal advisor review your legal documents, but it is not required. Most spouses complete mediation without one.

Can I DIY my uncontested divorce?

DIYing your uncontested divorce is possible. You and your spouse can figure out everything yourselves, from dividing creating agreements and drafting documents to asset division and child custody.

That said, DIYing your divorce also comes with risks. Overlooking a topic or making simple mistakes in your divorce paperwork, for instance, can lead to delays and potential legal issues down the road.

Mediation: A better choice

Mediation is a much safer investment. It’s simple, and you and your spouse work with a mediator to guide you.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators are experts on divorce procedures, records, and more. They help spouses agree on all important decisions made during their divorce. Plus, they help you get your papers in order, allowing you to avoid many major issues. You can have peace of mind knowing your mediator is guiding you every step of the way.

What is the filing process for an uncontested divorce?

Filing for an uncontested divorce is simpler and faster than going the contested route. Keeping in mind that filing on your own comes with some risk; we recommend hiring an expert mediator to help during all these stages.

Here are the steps to take when filing for divorce:

1. Gather the information you need beforehand

Before you start, gather:

  • personal information: the full names, addresses, and birthdates of you, your spouse, and any shared children;
  • marriage details: when and where you and your spouse were married, and;
  • financial information: access to the financial documents regarding your income, the financial assets, property, debts, and any vehicles you own.

You will want to discuss:

  • marital property and debt division: what each spouse owns and owes, including property;
  • child custody and support information: if you have kids, know how you’ll take care of them and support them financially, including when it comes to spousal maintenance; and
  • other considerations: there are many other considerations based on your personal circumstance. These might include bank accounts, credit card debt, business-ownership, or retirement accounts, to name just a few. For parents, this might include decisions such as legal decision making authorityright of first refusal, or out-of-state/international travel details. You should also consider the uncontested divorce cost (what your uncontested divorce proceedings will cost you).

An Aurit Center Certified Mediator can guide you through each of these discussions to keep the process peaceful and straightforward.

This is an image of a father playing with his child.

 2. Access and fill out the necessary legal forms

You can access divorce-related forms for your uncontested divorce from your local court’s office or website or from your local legal aid services. However, if you choose to work with a mediator, they will help you through this step to keep it as simple and stress free as possible.

3. Find out where to file divorce forms

You’ll file your divorce papers or divorce complaint in the court of the county where you and/or your spouse live. If you’ve moved recently, check the residency requirements about how long you need to live at your location before you can file for divorce in that county.

Again, your mediator’s help will be useful here.

Your mediator will also be able to check whether your county has rules regarding fault divorces or default divorces.

4. Pay the divorce court filing fees

The initial cost of filing for an uncontested divorce process varies by location — typically anywhere from $100 to $400. There will likely be other fees after this, as well.

5. Ensure both spouses have a copy

Ensure your spouse gets a copy of the divorce papers. There are state requirements around this process, and your local court can provide direction.

It’s worth noting that, should you choose mediation, you’ll have the opportunity to submit your paperwork jointly with your spouse. This means you won’t have to be stressed by serving your spouse or being served.

6. Finalize the judgment of divorce

After your spouse responds, you might need to fill out more forms or go to a court hearing. The judge will look at your marital settlement agreement to make sure it’s fair and follows the law.

If everything is in order, the judge will sign your divorce decree. This is the document that officially ends your marriage. Make sure to get a copy for your records.

Have a smooth, uncontested divorce with The Aurit Center

If you’ve decided uncontested divorce is the path for you and you want to make sure your interests are protected and needs are met, working with a mediator will provide the support you need.

A mediator helps ensure that your divorce is completed peacefully. They will help you and your spouse iron out any areas of disagreement. They will also use their experience to make sure you’ve considered all the important technical and practical details of your divorce.

If you’re ready to start the uncontested divorce process or you just want to learn more about it, schedule a free consultation with an Aurit Center Certified Mediator.

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