In the U.S., there are generally two types of divorces: contested and uncontested.
To “contest” something, in legal terms, means that you challenge it. Alleged criminals, for example, can contest the charges against them and take the matter to trial. When a divorce is contested, that means the spouses cannot agree on some part of it, and that matter must be handled in court.
In an “uncontested” divorce, there are no challenges. No one needs to formally accuse anyone of anything. The spouses agree to end their marriage, create plans for the outcome, and submit their decisions to the court.
Of course, this means that the spouses must be able to agree in the first place. You can attend mediation rather than go to trial. In this process, one lawyer works for both people. Their job is to help the spouses come to an agreement, keep tempers calm, and offer suggestions when the spouses hit a gridlock.
Here are some ways you can benefit from keeping your divorce out of court.
You Can Save Money
A contested divorce is expensive. Your attorney fees alone can quickly add up.
A divorce trial is just like any other. Each side makes claims, and those claims require rebuttal. That means no matter what the other side says, no matter how outrageous, your attorney must investigate it. Then, they must prepare an argument against it and make that argument in court. Every second your attorney invests in your case costs money. In fact, many spouses must also pay for the other spouse’s attorney, doubling the expense.
In an uncontested divorce, your only required expense is your court fees. Mediation costs much less than court as well. You pay only for the time spent in mediation. Most simple divorces require one mediation meeting, lasting between three and four hours.
You Can Keep Your Privacy
Courtroom divorces can get ugly, and plenty of dirty laundry can be displayed. Anything discussed in court becomes part of the public record, easily accessible by anyone nosey enough to look for it.
In an uncontested divorce, the state records only the divorce and the agreements. Everything else stays between you and your spouse. Even in mediation, the mediator must sign a confidentiality agreement, so your secrets remain safe.
You Have Agency Over Your Divorce
When your divorce goes to court, someone else makes all your decisions for you. You could have a biased judge, dumping unfair rulings on you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Failure to obey these orders can lead to legal trouble. Even if you are able to have these decisions reversed later, you must live with them until they are modified.
In an uncontested divorce, you have a say in everything that happens. You may not get everything you want, and in some cases, you could still be dissatisfied. Still, you can at least rest assured that you agreed to everything, and no one forced anything onto you.
Your Relationship Could Stay Amicable
If you share children or business interests, it’s important to stay civil with your former spouse. An uncontested divorce could help. It gives you one last project to work on together, and if you attend mediation, you may be able to see the divorce from each other’s perspectives.
If you are ready to pursue an uncontested divorce Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C. is here to help. We will stay by your side, even if it becomes necessary to take matters to court. For a free consultation, call us now at (516) 514-3868 or schedule time with us online.