Uncontested Divorce – How it Works

Uncontested Divorce – How it Works

by Apr 5, 2017Divorce

An uncontested divorce is straightforward and usually cheaper than a contested divorce. It allows you to end your marriage more privately and quietly, and it’s less of a drain on everyone’s financial and emotional resources. But while an uncontested divorce is ideal for many married couples, it is not the best fit for every situation.

Benefits Of An Uncontested Divorce

It’s probably your cheapest option. The money you save on attorney’s fees can go toward getting established in your new life and supporting your kids. This might be an important consideration if you would like to provide your kids with supportive resources like counseling.

An uncontested divorce can help keep you and your ex on good terms and avoid fighting for the sake of fighting. It also allows you to keep a lot of your financial and property disclosures, as well as your negotiations, private.

It’s also important to consider the stress you’ll avoid with an uncontested divorce. While you may not agree on everything at the outset, patience and a willingness to negotiate and compromise can spare you a lot of conflict. If you can’t work out agreements on all issues, you’ll probably have to go through mediation before signing the final divorce papers.

When Is It Not Such A Good Idea?

An uncontested divorce is a bad idea if domestic violence is involved. Abuse is a game changer, and both parties will need an advocate to help them negotiate. Matters may become even more complicated if criminal prosecution is involved.

An uncontested divorce is pretty much impossible if you and your spouse are not on speaking terms. You may have it all figured out and be ready to finalize the divorce, but if the other party refuses to participate, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Sometimes a resistant spouse just needs some time to accept that the divorce is happening, and a little patience may be all it takes to get the process moving. But if your spouse won’t budge, or if you want the divorce to proceed more quickly, your next option is a formal divorce.

How It Works

The spouse who files for divorce is the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent. The respondent doesn’t have to file any initial paperwork.

A typical divorce in California takes at least six months to finalize, giving you both time to work out the details. If property, child custody and child support are involved, you will need to exchange information and come to agreements that work for both of you.

These finalized arrangements are put into a document called a Marital Settlement Agreement. This, along with other supporting documents, is filed with the Court for approval. Once the Court approves the Marital Settlement Agreement, the divorce is final.

An uncontested divorce has many benefits and is a good option for a lot of people. Your willingness to negotiate amicably and make reasonable compromises can save both of you a lot of time, money, and stress.

If you feel an uncontested divorce may be a good option for you and your spouse, we can assist you in filling out the paperwork. We can also help you negotiate with each other fairly and mediate any conflicts to help you complete the process while protecting your dignity and privacy.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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