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Going to trial can be very expensive, time and energy consuming and emotionally draining. If that’s not how you want to end your marriage, an uncontested divorce is a better option. If you and your spouse can agree on all the issues that are involved in your divorce and create a formal agreement, your divorce will be uncontested.
Like most civil lawsuits, the vast majority of divorces are resolved by agreement of the parties. This can be done through negotiation between the spouses or with the help of a mediator, a neutral third party who can help the spouses reach a resolution. Agreements can happen early in the process if the spouses are open and reasonable or it may happen later in the process as the divorce is on its way to a trial.
There are many benefits to an uncontested divorce.
- You maintain more control over the process and the outcome. When it’s just the two of you working out an agreement, the two of you control how things will work out. If the divorce goes to a trial, it would be a judge and/or a jury deciding issues that may impact you for a lifetime and your kids until they become adults. They are in control, not you or your spouse.
- You can avoid going to court. Going to trial is expensive, time consuming and extremely stressful. Do you have the resources to finance a trial? Enough time to take off from work? The emotional bandwidth to withstand a divorce trial? With a trial you would literally be putting your entire marriage, life and all your secrets on display for everyone in the world to see (trials are open to the public). The end result may be an order that you don’t like in at least one way and may be very similar to a proposed agreement you turned down previously.
- Though not as speedy as you might like, an uncontested divorce is much faster than one that’s contested. It literally could be years before you get a final decision and that may be appealed, taking more years.
- The contested divorce process is inherently painful, adversarial, dramatic and hurtful. You may start to focus not on what’s in your best interests or the best interests of your children, but how you can hurt your spouse as much as possible.
- Your divorce may involve an ongoing relationship after it’s finalized. You may share child custody or one party may have visitation rights. One spouse may need to pay child or spousal support. A contested divorce may be so emotionally toxic it will spill over and poison this connection the two of you will continue to have.
With an uncontested divorce, you come together with someone with whom you shared a relationship to decide the terms of your separation. You don’t need to be overly generous or still have warm feelings for your spouse in an uncontested divorce. You just need to be reasonable, control your emotions and be smart about your goals and how to achieve them.
Though there are many upsides to a contested divorce, that doesn’t mean it will be easy. The two of you may have disagreements on serious issues that need to be resolved. It may take a lot of time, energy and creativity to come up with an agreement that works for both parties. Candor, honesty, flexibility and trust are all needed for an uncontested divorce.
If you live in the Virginia Beach area and have questions or concerns about divorce, or you want legal representation in your divorce, call Abrons, Chiusano & Sceviour at (757) 644-6789 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.