What Is Uncontested Divorce And Could It Be Right For My Family?
Couples who have decided to end their marriages can go about doing so in a couple of different ways, one of which is by filing for an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces tend to be resolved much more quickly than their counterpart (contested divorces), as they are only an option when a couple has reached an agreement on all divorce-related issues, like property division and alimony. This means that the parties can skip ahead in the divorce process, avoiding litigating these issues.
An uncontested divorce occurs when a couple has resolved all divorce-related issues, including:
- How marital assets will be divided;
- Whether one spouse will make alimony payments to the other upon finalization of the divorce;
- How much child support the non-custodial parent will pay; and
- How parenting time will be divided.
If a couple disagrees on some, or all of these issues then, a judge will need to step in and reach a decision on the parties’ behalf. This is known as a contested divorce. With an uncontested divorce, on the other hand, two spouses voluntarily reach an agreement on these matters, which means that they need only bring the agreement to a judge for approval before the divorce can be finalized.
Types of Uncontested Divorce
In Florida, uncontested divorce falls under two main categories, the first of which is known as a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. These proceedings are expedited and can often be finalized within a matter of weeks. However, only certain couples qualify, including those who:
- Have agreed that the marriage can’t be saved;
- Agree that neither spouse will seek alimony;
- Have decided how they will divide their assets and debts; and
- Have no children under the age of 18 years old and are not pregnant.
Those who don’t qualify for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage can still seek the second type of uncontested divorce, referred to as a Regular Dissolution of Marriage, which doesn’t have the same shortened timeline.
Florida Divorce Requirements
Even if a couple decides to proceed with an uncontested divorce, there are still a few conditions that they will need to meet before the divorce can actually be finalized. There is, for example, a residency requirement for all divorcing couples, which states that at least one of the parties must have lived in Florida for the prior six months to qualify for divorce. Couples will also need to establish that their marriage is irretrievably broken when they file for divorce in order to proceed with an uncontested divorce.
Work with an Experienced Florida Divorce Lawyer
If you believe that you and your spouse may be able to reach an agreement on divorce-related issues in an out-of-court setting, you could end up saving yourselves a lot of time, stress, and money. For an assessment of your case, call dedicated and compassionate Florida uncontested divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today. You can also set up a free consultation by reaching out to a member of our legal team via online message.