What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce has nothing to do with whether both spouses agree to get a divorce. It's a divorce where both parties have been able to agree on the important issues surrounding their breakup, like who gets what and who pays for what.  In an uncontested divorce, the parties are able to settle outside of court.

A big advantage of an uncontested divorce is cost: by keeping things out of the courtroom, it is possible to save a large amount of money. When divorces go in front of a judge, you're at the mercy of the court and its timeline, and this means proceedings may get stretched out over a long period of time. In addition, any time that you are fighting over assets, you will end up paying a great deal in legal fees for the representation.

Another big advantage of an uncontested divorce is the fact that you are in control of your life and your future. By working things out with your spouse, you are able to decide what happens to your property, where your children will live, and how much spousal support might be paid.  This is usually best, because let's face it--who do you think is in a better position to decide what works best with your situation--you and your wife?  Or a judge who knows little about you other than what's been on a few pieces of paper that have been filed.

Most couples formalize their agreement through a document called a Property Settlement and Stipulation Agreement, commonly referred to as a "Separation Agreement." This Agreement will be incorporated into the Final Decree of Divorce. This way you don't have to stand before a judge and let her determine your fate. Divorce has a way of flipping your life upside-down, and many people find comfort in having a measure of control over what happens next.

Although an uncontested divorce is a popular option, it is—unfortunately—not for everyone. If you are leaving an abusive relationship, the situation is probably not ideal for negotiating as equals. Also, some couples harbor such negative feelings about each other than it would simply be impossible for them to sit down together and work out the terms of their divorce.

If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Virginia, contact the Virginia Beach divorce law firm of Hampton Roads Legal Services at 757-340-3100 for a free report on the divorce process in Virginia.  We can also provide you with a free phone consultation to discuss what we can do for you!

Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney