What is an Uncontested Divorce?
Many times there is no significant property, debt or children at issue in a marriage. Once the spouses come to terms with the fact that a divorce cannot be avoided, they sometimes realize that there is nothing left to fight over. An uncontested divorce is when the parties come to a full agreement on the settlement terms in advance. The terms of the settlement are decided beforehand. An Attorney is able to draft all of the paperwork from start to finish before the case is even filed. An uncontested divorce saves money, time, and headache.
What Happens in an Uncontested Divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, one of the parties will retain an Attorney. That person will draft their Petition and other required paperwork. The settlement terms will be drafted and approved by both parties. Once the Attorney is clear that there is an agreement, the initiating paperwork for the represented side will be filed. The other side will sign a special form Waiving Service (i.e. the Sheriff will not need to serve the paperwork). There is then an initial 30 day waiting period. After that time is up, your Attorney will get a Court date set and submit the final settlement paperwork to the Judge to sign.
Can we Share an Attorney?
No, not really. It would be a conflict of interest for the party to represent both parties. Your Attorney will represent you. When the other party agrees to the settlement terms in advance and has reviewed the paperwork, they usually feel it is unnecessary at that point to hire their own counsel.
How will it Save Money?
A normal contested divorce takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to resolve. Obviously there are costs along the way for the Attorney’s time spent investigating, drafting various pleadings, communicating, and attending Court. By doing the footwork and getting your ex on the same terms beforehand, we are able to wrap it up in around 2 months. In a lot of circumstances it can be resolved on the very first Court date. That is less time spent on your case and hence a lot of savings.
How Much will an Attorney Cost?
Attorneys prices vary from office to office. Both parties should agree upon the terms before the paperwork is filed in order to qualify as an uncontested divorce. There are also filing fees, which run around $150-$250 depending upon what jurisdiction you are in. Below is the pricing currently used at my firm for representation on an uncontested divorce.
Your Next Step
If you have more questions about obtaining an uncontested divorce in the Saint Louis, Jefferson County, or Saint Charles area, contact my office for a free consultation on your case. You may contact me via telephone at 314-782-3500 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org