Depending on where you live, the legal process for divorce is different. But there are some basics that are not geographically dependent. The two main forms of the legal process of divorce are uncontested and contested.
A uncontested divorce means that both parties agree to the dissolution which makes matters much more simple than a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, one party refuses to accept the end of the marriage which results in a length and expensive process.
The legal aspect to an uncontested divorce is fairly straightforward and has four steps:
- Filing Papers: a written request called a petition or complaint is submitted to the court. The spouse that enters the document is called the petitioner and the receiving party the respondent.
- Serving Papers: The petition must be legally delivered to the spouse who did not file. It can be done fairly easy using the mail or having a formal service do it.
- Court Appearance (on paper, virtually, or in person): Each party must make an “appearance” to confirm that the marriage is over and the basic requirements have been fulfilled. This can be accomplished through affidavits which are sworn statements that spell out the facts.
- Judgement Entered: Once the judge approves the agreement in a judgement, the divorce decree is signed by the judge. Depending on your location there can two judgements, temporary and final.
That’s it! Uncontested divorces can be as simple as you choose to make them. When both spouses are on the same page, uncontested divorce is a cost-effective and easy way to uncouple. However, when the spouses do NOT agree and choose to pursue contested divorce, the process becomes complicated and costs can skyrocket.
Contested divorce occurs when you and your spouse cannot agree on the separation and elect to turn the process over to the legal system. Once this has occurred, the case can take on a life of it’s own. Attorneys are trained to follow certain rules and procedures and may even consider it malpractice if they fail to use every legal tool in their arsenal to accomplish your goals. Miscommunication can occur which makes it challenging to even understand what the other side is trying to accomplish.
The Collaborative attorneys have special training that they have received out of law school. In this divorce process, the lawyers and the divorce team are made up of highly trained mediators that help you negotiate the process with your partner. Attorneys take on an advocacy role, there is a financial divorce analyst who develops financial settlement solutions based on the family’s financial history, and child specialists. There can also be divorce coaches who help the couple stay focused on moving forward and help them develop skills to communicate more effectively. It’s a great way to preserve resources and family dynamics.
In collaboration and mediation, you can
- Create stability through a temporary agreement
- Voluntarily exchange all important information
- Agree on the path that minimizes expenses and streamlines the process
- Negotiate win-win outcomes
- Determine how to decide post-divorce events.
This process enables you to keep the control and create a team environment to accomplish your divorce goals. It is highly effective and allows everyone to keep their dignity.
If you would like an help replacing fear with facts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402.430.3092.
Please note: This is general knowledge and is not tax/ legal/ or financial advice. Work with your professional team to find out what is best for you.