Online and Uncontested Divorce
Is An Online Uncontested Divorce For You
Divorce can be handled in a rational and amicable manner. If you and your spouse can talk with each other in a civilized manner, putting aside your hurt feelings for the benefit of resolving your issues in a rational manner, uncontested divorce may be an option for you.
How to Obtain an Uncontested Divorce
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Online Divorce is uncontested divorce, which requires that you and your spouse be able to agree on all of the issues that are relevant to your family. Those issues include custody, child support, property division, alimony, and in some states, fault divorce. It is within your control in every state to agree to an Uncontested Divorce. In fact, because of court congestion and the real fact that divorce is incredibly stressful to the parties and damaging to their children, Courts generally encourage parties to settle their divorce cases and encourage uncontested divorces.
States have specific requirements for the resolution of divorce actions. If you and your spouse are considering proceeding with an uncontested or online divorce, you should obtain information and learn about your state’s requirements. When considering an uncontested or online divorce, you must examine the procedural status of your case. Some couples decide from the outset that they want an Uncontested Divorce. They do not file any papers in court and work either on their own, with a mediator, or with their attorneys to arrive at an amicable Agreement. If a divorce action has not yet been started, you have the benefit of time to work on reaching an agreement with your spouse.
Other couples decide after they have already started the court filings that they want to stop that process and work towards an agreed upon or Uncontested Divorce. If a divorce action is pending and you want to enter into an Agreement instead of proceeding with the litigation, you will have to abide by your Court’s calendar. In some states, Courts provide a very short time period before a divorce case goes to trial. If that is the case in your state and if your case has been filed in court, you may have to expedite your settlement negotiations in order to reach an amicable settlement.
Every uncontested divorce begins with negotiations between the parties. You will have to reach an agreement on the division of your assets, custody, support and other relevant issues. You must then decide how you would like to proceed. You can decide to stay legally separated for a period of time, or you can obtain a divorce right away.
If you would like to remain separated, you can enter into a Separation Agreement that contains all of the terms of your agreement. Every state has specific requirements on what must be in that Agreement. If you would like to proceed with a divorce right away, you also have to enter into an Agreement that covers all of the issues relevant to your family situation. If you have already filed in court, there are two ways to enter into an Agreement: by going before the Court to tell the Judge what the details of the Agreement are, or by entering into a written Agreement. Again, every state has it’s own requirements for how these two types of Agreements may be prepared.
If you have elected to obtain a divorce right away, you will still have to submit the actual Divorce Papers to the Court after you finalize your Agreement. Those papers must be in the format required by your state. After the papers are signed by the Court and filed, you will be divorced.
There are many benefits in proceeding with an uncontested or online divorce. The most significant are the savings to you pocketbook, the sheltering of your children from divorce litigation, and the reduction of stress in your own personal life. Uncontested divorce offers a cost effective and sane method of resolving your family dispute.
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Uncontested or Online Divorce Divorce FAQ's
What is Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is a divorce that is reached by a settlement agreement between the parties. The terms of the divorce are agreed upon by the parties rather than imposed upon them by a Court.
What are The Advantages of Uncontested or Online Divorce
In uncontested or online divorce, the process tends to be faster and cheaper than contested cases. By agreeing upon the terms of the divorce, the parties are able to maintain control of their own futures and are not forced to live with an arrangement imposed upon them by a Judge. Parents who are able to negotiate an uncontested divorce also tend to be better able to maintain a civil relationship after the divorce because they have not been forced to engage in the "mud-slinging" that is all too often inherent in contested cases. This reduced hostility makes it easier for the parents to raise their children together after the divorce.
Uncontested or online divorce is almost always the cheapest way to obtain a divorce. Lawyers charge by the hour. By negotiating the terms of their own agreement, parties are able to avoid the many hours it would take their attorneys to prepare court documents, prepare in court and conduct a trial. The money that is saved can be spent on helping parties start separate lives for themselves, and support their children, after the divorce. If you use an online divorce service, you will pay for all of your document preparation and you will receive instructions on how to file those papers. You will have to pay any required state filing fees separately.
Uncontested and online divorce also guarantees parties a greater degree of confidentiality. In contested cases, the details of the parties’ finances and lives must be shared with their attorneys and aired before the Court. In uncontested and online divorce cases, although the divorce papers are public records, the disclosures and negotiations shared between the parties during their preparation of the agreement are confidential between the parties.
When is Uncontested Divorce a Bad Idea
The process of uncontested divorce works well for parties who are relatively amicable. If you are unable to work with your spouse or reach agreements with him or her, uncontested divorce is likely not for you and an online divorce service will not meet your needs..
How Do I Obtain an Uncontested Online Divorce
An uncontested divorce is obtained by entering into a binding Agreement with your spouse, commencing an action for divorce and filing the Agreement and other uncontested divorce papers with the Court. The parties can prepare all of this paperwork with one or two attorneys, or with an service, such as Complete Case.
How Do I Obtain an Agreement
The first step in obtaining an uncontested divorce is the negotiation and preparation of an agreement. Parties can reach an agreement by direct negotiations between themselves or by negotiations that are facilitated with the assistance of attorneys or a mediator. It is also possible to use a divorce mediator to reach an agreement and then to use an online divorce service to complete and finalize your divorce papers.
What Happens After We Reach an Agreement
Some states permit one party to obtain a divorce based on "no-fault". This type of divorce requires only that one party wants to end the marriage. Hence, the lack of any finding of fault on the part of one spouse or the other. If no answer is filed to the no-fault complaint or petition, ordinarily a divorce will be granted on a default basis.
If your state requires a finding of fault, you and your spouse can agree upon the grounds for divorce. After an agreement is reached about which party will be obtaining the divorce, and on what grounds, the divorce action can be commenced on the agreed upon grounds. If you use an online divorce service to prepare your papers, all of the required divorce documents will be prepared and you will receive complete instructions on how to file those papers.
Can an Attorney Represent Both Parties
We believe that an attorney should only ethically represent one party. If parties elect to use the assistance of legal counsel to negotiate an agreement, optimally both should be represented by their own attorney. If only one attorney is used and that attorney was hired by one of the parties, both parties must be aware that the attorney is only, and can only, represent one of the parties to the negotiation.
Where Can I Go For Legal Advice
If you elect to negotiate an agreement directly with your spouse or with the assistance of a mediator, you can obtain a great deal of information by reviewing online divorce sites. You can also hire a lawyer to answer the many legal questions that will likely arise as you are negotiating the agreement. If you need the assistance of an attorney, you can find an attorney right here on Millennium Divorce. Simply go to our Find an Attorney Icon at the left of this page.
What Issues Should We Consider
In reaching an agreement, you must address all issues that are relevant to the divorce including but not limited to the division of real and personal property, responsibility for debts, child support, custody, visitation, health insurance and tax issues
How is Child Support Calculated
Every state has guidelines that are used for the calculation of child support. You should be aware of the guidelines and use the same to calculate child support. This does not mean, however, that you must use the amount arrived at under the guidelines as the agreed upon amount of support. If you agree to use another figure, however, you must convince the Court that the agreed upon amount is appropriate and sufficient to support your child. You can review your own state child support laws on Millennium Divorce. Simply go to our State Laws Icon at the left of this page.
What is Physical Custody
Physical custody is who the child lives with. If a parent has "primary physical custody", the child lives primarily with that parent and visits with the other. If parents share physical custody, the child’s time is equally divided between the two homes.
What is Legal Custody
Legal custody is who has the right to make important legal decisions for the child. If a parent has sole legal custody, he or she will have the right to make these decisions without any input from the other parent. If parents have joint legal custody, the parties must consult with each other and reach agreements on these issues.
How Are Retirement Funds Divided
The division of retirement accounts raises complicated and sometimes substantial tax issues. So that you can be apprised of the same, you should consult with an attorney, a financial planner, or an accountant before agreeing upon a division of these assets.
After you have agreed upon the manner in which a retirement account will be divided, you must prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) which is typically drafted after the divorce has been concluded. QDROs instruct the plan administrator on how to divide the retirement account. The QDRO must be approved by the plan administrator and the parties before it is submitted to the Court for signature. After it has been signed and entered by the Court, the QDRO must be filed with the plan administrator. Typically, QDRO’s are not prepared by online services such as Complete Case. Rather, they are prepared by attorneys. If you will need a QDRO, you can find an attorney to assist you right here on Millennium Divorce. Simply go to our Find an Attorney Icon at the left of this page.
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