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Uncontested Divorce: The Fast & Easy Divorce Option

An uncontested divorce is one where neither spouse objects to the divorce, and the court does not need to decide issues related to children, property division or alimony payments. Uncontested divorces are extremely popular among divorcing couples, because they are usually an easy divorce option.

Advantages of Uncontested Divorces

An uncontested divorce offers couples several advantages:

  • It is an inexpensive option that enables you to minimize expenses. While you should still consider hiring an attorney to review the process with you and explain the long-term ramifications, your legal fees should be minimal.
  • It is one of the faster ways to get a divorce. When a divorce becomes a long, drawn-out affair, it's almost certainly because the couples are unable to reach a settlement agreement. Assuming you and your spouse are in agreement on the terms of your divorce, an uncontested divorce can happen pretty quickly. Remember, however, that you'll still have to make sure you meet your state's residency and legal separation requirements.
  • It allows you to keep private many of the details of your divorce. The divorce agreement you file with the court will become part of the public record, but negotiations you have outside of court can remain private. In contrast, divorcing couples who spend a lot of time arguing in court will find that their testimony, motions and documents filed with the court all become part of the public record.

Disadvantages of Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorce is not for every couple. In general, an uncontested divorce doesn't work well for couples that are unable to talk to and negotiate with one another. If there's been violence or abuse--where one partner is more dominant than the other--there is a risk that the more dominant partner will take advantage of the less powerful partner. These are all reasons why you want to hire a divorce lawyer to review your agreements before filing for divorce. A lawyer will be able to tell you if you're getting an unfair deal.

Other Easy Divorce Options

If your state has a long waiting period before granting a divorce, consider whether you can get divorced in another jurisdiction. Certain states, such as Nevada, have short residency periods. You may also consider getting divorced in another country, provided that your divorce will be recognized in the United States.

Don't be fooled, however, by companies that advertise easy, do-it-yourself divorces. While these services may save you money in the short run, you may not find that the process offers an easy divorce or a fast divorce. In the long run, you may cost yourself time and money if you make mistakes or give your spouse too much in the divorce settlement.