What is an Uncontested Divorce?
Frequently when people call our office, they tell us that the divorce is uncontested just because both parties both want a divorce. Certainly it may make the process easier if both parties agree that their marriage is over and that divorce is inevitable. But, this is not what an attorney means when they ask whether a divorce is going to be uncontested. A Georgia uncontested divorce means that the parties have at least preliminarily reached an agreement regarding all of the major areas related to a divorce:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Equitable Division of Assets
- Allocation/Division of Debts.
Of course, if the parties do not have any minor children together, the first 2 areas are irrelevant. But all divorces can, at least potentially, include alimony, division of property and allocation of debts.
However, another common misunderstanding about an uncontested divorce is that because the couple has a general idea about how to resolve an issue that means the matter is uncontested. Certainly, it helps to have a general idea on how to resolve all of the divorce issues, ultimately you must come up with the details of how all issues will be resolved.
For example, it may be that the parties have agreed that one parent is going to be the primary physical custodian for the minor children. But, that alone does not fully address the issue of child custody. A full Parenting Plan must still be agreed to with all sorts of details such as who is responsible for driving the children to and from visitation, how holidays and summer vacations will be shared, and who has ultimate responsibility for legal custody decisions for the minor children. All these details must still be worked out before a matter can actually be considered uncontested.
But, Having a General Agreement in Mind Helps
Over the years of working on thousands of uncontested (and contested) Georgia divorces, we have found that often the minor details can be worked out fairly easily if the parties already have at least a general idea for handling the major issues of their divorce. Of course, it may be that a general agreement does not exactly work out as originally planned once we get into required details in the divorce but it helps to have an agreed starting point.
If you and your spouse are making progress trying to work out a fully agreement on your own, it is still a good idea to get the advice of an experienced Georgia divorce lawyer so that you can better understand the finer points that must be addressed in your Settlement Agreement. With some guidance and and objective perspective, we can help work out the remaining issues prior to proceeding with an uncontested divorce. We can also offer options for addressing differences that may arise. Hopefully, the divorce will be the only one that a couple may experience but it is one of thousands that we have worked on so that we probably have seen the exact situation before and can offer helpful ideas based on that knowledge and experience to help you achieve an uncontested divorce.
The bottom line is that a divorce is not actually uncontested unless a Settlement Agreement that has been signed by both parties if actually filed when the divorce case is filed with the clerk of superior court.
Regardless of how your reach your agreement for an uncontested divorce, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney to review your proposed plan, offer suggestions for changes, and to properly prepare the necessary documents, file the case and process it through the court to a fast and trouble-free conclusion resulting in an uncontested divorce.
To get started with your Georgia Uncontested Divorce, we suggest that you submit our Client Inquiry Form.