Uncontested Divorce Process
How Does It Work?
In uncontested divorces, usually, an attorney represents either of the spouses. Since each spouse has their own interest which is different from the other, therefore, the attorney cannot represent both the spouses. Hence, it is indeed very important for the attorney to find out from the beginning as to whom he is going to represent.
Different attorneys might follow different manners of working. However, basically, the procedures remain same for almost all uncontested divorce processes. Firstly, the clients meet their attorneys in the office to discuss the key issues relating to the divorce. Then the attorney explains his client about the various options available to him. Usually, the attorneys inform their clients about various documents available for the uncontested divorce, and what each document can do for them. In the end, when the client understands the entire procedure and agrees with the attorney on specific documents to be used, the attorney prepares all the necessary paperwork to be signed by both the spouses.
Generally, it takes about one hour or an hour and a half to complete the paperwork and produce the documents for the uncontested divorce process. Since the paperwork is prepared upon the agreement of both spouses, they become satisfied with the documents. Then they come to their attorney to sign the document so that their attorney can file them with the appropriate court. The chances of parties becoming dissatisfied with the process and going to court is very unusual as the process of uncontested divorce takes place after the due agreement of both the spouses.
The entire process of an uncontested divorce is handled in paper and is, therefore, completed amicably and smoothly. It happens much faster and is also less expensive apart from being hassle-free. At Bay Area Family Law, we focus on the key issues of the uncontested divorce cases and conduct meaningful discussions with our clients so that they receive a fair and equitable divorce with a cost-effective approach.
How Much Does It Cost?
The costs of uncontested divorces vary widely and it, by and large, depends upon the attorney you choose. Usually, it costs around $500 to get an uncontested divorce and takes about one day. However, it largely depends on the kind of attorney you approach. There are attorneys who charge as much as $1200 for an uncontested divorce whereas there quite a few lawyers who take as little as $90. So, what is the reason of this variance in fees? This is because some attorneys don’t do a large number of uncontested divorces and, therefore, spend a significant time on the divorce and on their clients. This is why they charge higher fees. On the contrary, attorneys who charge around $100 are likely to have their practice around high volume of divorces and spend little time with their individual clients. However, they tend to increase their fees if there is any involvement of children, significant assets or unusual debts with the case. At Bay Area Family Law, we provide uncontested divorce support services on a personal basis at a cost which is reasonable and affordable for the people in the region.
Who Gets Represented?
In uncontested divorce cases, the person who ‘seeks’ the divorce is called ‘plaintiff’. In most cases, neither spouse has any strong objection to being a plaintiff. In such cases, it allows you to focus on the other important aspects of the divorce case. It could be a potential advantage to have the attorney on your side. However, the attorney represents the spouse who needs the help the most.
Now, the big question is, “who needs the help the most?” Firstly, the spouse who is left is considered to be the one who needs the help the most. Secondly, the spouse who is not financially sound is the one who needs help the most. Thirdly, if one spouse is considering filing bankruptcy and other spouse is not, then the one who is less likely to do so is the one who needs the help the most.
Ironically, in uncontested divorce cases, the spouse who seeks the divorce, takes the initiative and contacts the attorney is the ‘leaver’ and is considered to be one who is ‘not in crisis’. So, the attorney represents the spouse ‘who needs it the least’ in order to protect him/her.
When Is It A Bad Idea?
Though uncontested divorce is a smoother, less stressful and less expensive process, still it may not always be the best option to look at. Divorce cases involving complex and unique issues such as spouse holding joint title to real property or if your children have unusual parenting needs are difficult to solve through uncontested divorce process. If the divorce cases involve many complex issues, the uncontested divorce will be too simplistic an approach to choose.
Uncontested divorce is a bad idea when there is ongoing domestic violence in the family and the victim cannot negotiate with the perpetrator in this case, he or she needs representation of a professional attorney to seek justice.
When the other spouse is not ready for a meaningful discussion with you and the parties are not able to talk to each other, uncontested divorce is a bad idea. If you think that your spouse will come around later and you can stick around till she does so, then uncontested divorce can work fine. But, if you are too determined to take the divorce process forward or if your spouse looks unrelenting and highly unlikely to come around, then uncontested divorce is a bad idea.
Uncontested divorce is a bad idea when one or both spouses are both ignorant about the law and greedy. If your spouse is just ignorant but reasonable then uncontested divorce many work fine. In cases where both the spouses are ignorant about the law and greedy, then they may need separate attorneys to represent their case.
Divorce cases where both spouses have many issues at stake can hardly opt for uncontested divorce process. They would rather prefer to have a professional and competent divorce attorney represent them in order to resolve the issues concerning them. Indeed, there are many typical issues in divorce cases that can not be resolved through uncontested divorce process. This is where the trial process looks inevitable and couples are recommended to go for contested divorce process.
At Bay Area Family Law, we offer services both for contested divorce process as well as uncontested divorce process. Since we have the experience in handling cases involving both the processes, we can help you consider the best option available for your case. We can also facilitate all the necessary steps that you are supposed to go through while you choose either contested or uncontested divorce process.
What Are The Advantages?
The most striking advantage of uncontested divorce is that it is cost effective. In contested divorce, the parties have to incur a heavy sum of money through various litigation expenses, attorney fees and other court fees. On the contrary, uncontested divorce process offer solutions with the least possible cost.
However, this is not the only reason for people to go for it. Unlike contested divorce, uncontested divorce allows the couples to keep their personal and private matters to themselves thereby, leaving them to lead their post-divorce life easily. Although the agreements between the spouses in uncontested cases will be matter of public record, but the disclosures they make will remain truly private and personal. Beside, the various issues and proposal discussed during negotiation of an agreement will also remain private to both of them.
In nutshell, uncontested divorce is advantageous over contested divorce in a sense that it offers solutions with the least possible cost, thereby allowing the parties to separate from each other with dignity. If the couple seeking divorce is reasonable and does not have any conflicting issues such as joint property, then uncontested divorce is the best option available to them.