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“Uncontested” Versus “Contested” Divorce

“Uncontested” Versus “Contested” Divorce

There is no doubt about it. An uncontested divorce is cheaper and generally less stressful. Unfortunately, sometimes an uncontested divorce simply isn’t possible. What determines whether or not an uncontested divorce is a feasible solution?

Uncontested divorces are possible when there is agreement from both spouses, meaning the divorce isn’t going to be contested or disputed and that the specifics of the divorce, such as child payments, also aren’t disputed.

In an uncontested divorce, a lawyer usually draws up documents that both parties sign. After the documents are signed, they can be filed with the court. Usually the court waits at least 30 days after the papers are filed to sign the divorce decree. The final decree is mailed to both parties. It takes between 6 to 12 weeks from the date of filing to receiving the final decree.

An uncontested divorce is easier when the couple has no children, but it is certainly possible for divorcing parents to get an uncontested divorce. Parents need to agree on child visitation, child custody, how property is to be divided, and how debt is to be divided. It’s a little bit surprising, but child support isn’t one of the things that need to be agreed upon. Alabama has stringent child support standards, and child support is usually not negotiable.

To get an uncontested divorce, one spouse must have been an Alabama resident for at least six months before the date of filing. Both spouses need to be willing to sign the necessary paperwork, and both spouses need to agree on all aspects of the settlement.

An uncontested divorce can save you time and money. However, it is still important that you speak to an experienced family law attorney who can help you think through your situation and evaluate your options. While an uncontested divorce may save time and money in the short run, if it results in a settlement than is significantly less favorable than what you could have gotten in a contested divorce, you may regret not contesting.

Divorce can be a confusing and stressful process, and we understand how overwhelmed you feel. Please give us a call and contact us today if you’d like to discuss your situation!

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