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What is an Uncontested Divorce?


Couples who choose to divorce but want to remain amicable often choose an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce consists of one spouse filing and the other spouse signing a waiver that will be served with the divorce and an agreement and decree which divides the assets. Both parties can agree on the division of property and assets, custody or support issues. This is usually the fastest and least expensive divorce process. However, it also calls for complete agreement between the spouses about the various issues that normally end up becoming contentious in a divorce. Read below for questions answered by Family Law Experts.

How to begin an uncontested divorce?

You must file a petition for an uncontested divorce with the court. Once you have filed, a summons will be issued to notify your spouse that you have filed for divorce. If the spouse is agreeable to this, he/she can sign a waiver, accepting the service so the papers will not be turned over to a court officer or deputy sheriff. Once the papers have been served, and the waiver has been signed, your spouse will have 20 days to file an answer. This is usually done through a lawyer, in court. 

Your spouse will need to execute a waiver which will include a waiver of process. If your spouse waives service, there are no children and both parties are in agreement to the divorce, your divorce will usually be granted 10 days after the filing of the petition. 

If there are children involved, there will be a 90-day waiting period from the date that the divorce papers were served, the first date of publication or the entry of appearance by the defendant, whichever occurs first. Under certain circumstances, the 90-day waiting period may also be waived. If your spouse hires an attorney and contests the divorce, the case could take longer.

Can a judge overrule the wishes of two parties in an uncontested divorce?

Usually, a judge will not overrule an agreed upon settlement. As long as both parties are content with the settlement, the court also tends to agree. While the court has the power to overrule, the judge usually will not interfere. 

In an uncontested divorce, are the spouse’s 401K and savings typically split in half?

Generally, the only portion of a person’s 401K that would be divided would be the portion that was earned during the marriage. Anything earned prior to the marriage is considered separate property and anything earned during the marriage is considered community property. However, the court will respect any decision that is made between both parties. 

Can a married couple get an uncontested divorce and still live together to raise their children?

Many couples try to overcome their differences for the sake of their children. Sometimes the best solution to the marital problems is to do an uncontested divorce but remain together to raise their children. It is not illegal for a couple to divorce and still live together for any reason, including raising the children. 

At one time or another, everyone needs help while dealing with a tough issue. Consulting friends and well-wishers can be an awkward and even embarrassing proposition in matters related to divorce. The legal implications of a divorce can also mean that you need the benefit of experience and expertise on your side. If you are interested in an uncontested divorce and would like to know more, ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer. These Experts can answer your legal questions with reliable and knowledgeable insight.

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