When you arrive at the point where a divorce is the only option for you, it is natural that you would have a number of questions and concerns. People are naturally concerned about time, costs, the division of assets, and a number of other issues that they may not be informed of. One option for divorce is an uncontested divorce, which is where couples are in agreement regarding the major issues they have.
They are able to work out concerns like the division of marital assets, alimony, child custody, and child support without the input of divorce lawyers or mediators and are able to avoid repeated court visits. This article will cover some of the major questions and concerns people may have about cheap uncontested divorces in, so that you can be more informed about the process.
- How do I initiate an uncontested divorce?
The first most common question about an uncontested divorce our attorneys get asked is how to get started. The first thing you have to do is file a petition for uncontested divorce in Montgomery County or with the court in the county in which you live. You will be given a case number, and from there you will serve your spouse with the petition and have a summons served to them. Your spouse will then file a response acknowledging that they have received the petition and agree to the terms. After some additional steps, and the arrival at a settlement agreement, then the judge will grant your divorce.
- If my spouse and I have children, can we still file an uncontested divorce?
As previously mentioned, the requirements for an uncontested divorce are such that the couple agrees on all major issues, with issues related to childcare being among them. Fortunately, Alabama courts have an Income Based system that can assist in the process of establishing a reasonable amount for child support payments, though couples can negotiate on a different amount with some latitude. Child custody arrangements take a little more work, which can be accomplished with the assistance of a lawyer or mediator. If you cannot arrive at an agreement, seeking the help of a professional before going to court would be the smart option.
As we can see, there is some additional work involved if you have children but having children does not preclude you from seeking out an uncontested divorce.
- What does an Uncontested Divorce cost?
A commo question about an uncontested divorce we get is how much does it costs? Generally speaking, the more complex your case is, the more it is going to cost. That being said, an uncontested divorce is far cheaper than a contested divorce. You can still anticipate some attorney fees and minor court costs, but you can expect to spend less than $1000 dollars if all goes well.
- How do we divide property during our divorce?
Unless you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that defines whose property belongs to who, then all property is regarded as shared marital property. Now, separate property is property owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, as well as property that was inherited without sharing, or property that was given as a gift from one spouse to the other.
Depending on your individual finances, retirement plans and benefits, and things like contribution to the other spouse’s higher education, there can be more work involved in terms of dividing assets, since these items can be a little more abstract. It will take some additional negotiation on these matters in order to make your uncontested divorce go forward, because if you cannot do so, then you will likely have to have the court do the determination for you.
- How long does it take to finalize an uncontested divorce?
One last question about uncontested divorces we get is how long it takes to get a divorce decree? Uncontested divorces can be handled fairly quickly, because of the fact that the spouses have handled the difficult work of preliminary negotiations on their own, and without the involvement of a divorce court. You can get a fast divorce if everyone is in agreement. That being said, it can take more than a year from the beginning to end of the contested divorce. The time spent on an uncontested divorce involves filing paperwork and meeting deadlines, which, if filed properly, speeds up the process. A contested divorce just takes more time to move through the court system and get resolved.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!