When is an uncontested divorce the right solution?
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the couple generally agrees on most key issues (especially any property division) and the couple desires to avoid courtroom litigation. Georgia allows a divorce without attempting to asses fault on one party or the other. This “no-fault” basis can open the door to civil and speedy negotiations.
The main advantage to an uncontested divorce is cost. As long as the parties can continue to communicate with each other, cost can generally be assessed on a flat fee basis. However, if communication becomes strained and the parties are forced to turn to litigation, the cost can quickly escalate. Open and straightforward communication is the key to a low cost and amicable uncontested divorce. Time can also be an advantage to an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce can take many months even years. An uncontested divorce without children can be completed in just over a month.
Before speaking with an attorney it is a good idea is to make a list of possessions and have a civil discussion as to who should get what. If this process can be completed, an uncontested divorce may be a practical solution. However, keep in mind that an uncontested divorce does not mean there will be no disagreements. The parties may disagree, but in the end they should be willing to negotiate and eventually resolve all issues.
While an uncontested divorce can often have a cooperative feel, the parties should understand that a lawyer cannot represent both of them and they should be wary if a lawyer promises to do that. In an uncontested divorce, a lawyer is ethically bound to only represent one client. The other spouse must proceed without a lawyer or hire their own attorney.
Occasionally, individuals will attempt to save money and file for an uncontested divorce with forms purchased online. This is generally not advisable and you may inadvertently give away some of your key rights or cause the matter to take longer than it should to resolve. Additionally, an uncontested divorce is more affordable than you might think.
Before considering and uncontested divorce ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are there open lines of communication between you and you soon-to-be ex?
2. Are your financial affairs straightforward?
3. Are you able to sit down and divide up personal property?
4. If a house is involved, are you able to decide who take possession of the property?
5. If children are involved, are you able to decide issues like custody and financial support?
If you answered yes to all those questions, you may be a good candidate for an uncontested divorce. Contact our local office to create an affordable solution that will best protect your rights.
Antonio B. Mari, Esq.