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Uncontested Divorce

26th May 2010
By amnorge in Divorce
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An uncontested divorce is a relatively quick and easy way of going through divorce proceedings. It is most appropriate, and most commonly the choice of those in circumstances that makes a divorce simpler, with no children and no major assets to split.

An uncontested divorce is not as simple as some think though, and there still needs to be a reason for the divorce. You can't just decide to divorce and that be the end of it. One member of the marriage needs to request the divorce and it needs to fit one of the criteria for a divorce to be granted. These reasons include adultery, unreasonable behaviour, and the couple having been separated for two years or more. For an uncontested divorce to be granted the other person in the marriage (not the one requesting the divorce) must agree and not contest it.

It is still possible to go through an uncontested divorce if the couple share children or other assets such as property; it is just more complicated. This is because in these circumstances disagreements are more likely to occur. If the former couples have children they will have to agree on the specifics of the children's custody. This will include who they will live with after the divorce and any visitation arrangements for the other parent. Maintenance payments will also need to be agreed. With other assets they will again have to agree on how to move forward. All this means an uncontested divorce is easier for those without children and assets, so it therefore happens less with those couples with much to potentially disagree on.

There are obvious advantages to uncontested divorce. They are much quicker than divorce proceedings that involve disagreements over whether the divorce should take place and related issues. They are easier and less stressful due to the period from start to finish being less, so if the former couple can genuinely agree on all factors it is probably the best option. They also cost less. Proceedings taking place over a long period are obviously going to be more financially taxing. The more complex a divorce is the more it will cost in Family Law Solicitors and court fees. There is still a fee with an uncontested divorce but in total it will be significantly less expensive.

If one partner is contesting the divorce then this type of divorce is not an option. If the two parties are involved in legal wranglings involving children, property and other assets then a quick divorce is likely to be out of the question. When this is the case there can be court cases and a long process will need to be gone through.

In theory an uncontested divorce is the perfect solution as it is quick and easy making it much less stressful. But in reality they are usually not possible. Former couples can be resentful towards each other, especially shortly after deciding, or one party requesting, a divorce. It is therefore hard to agree on everything even if it does make thinks less complex. The couple are often fighting to get everything they can out of the divorce, including money, children and property.

Andrew Marshall (c)
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