An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses are in agreement on every relevant issue in their divorce. In this case, a divorce can be finalized without the need for contested litigation. Most likely both parties will not even have to appear in court. In an uncontested divorce, our attorneys work closely with the client to draft a comprehensive settlement agreement. This agreement contains all of the terms agreed to by the parties. It will also have the other documents necessary to complete the divorce. All the parties will sign and approve the documents are approved and signed. We will file the documents with the court. We will obtain a final judgment and decree of divorce. Our Atlanta uncontested divorce attorneys will make the process as fast and as easy as possible.
There is a common misconception that many prospective clients have when they meet with us. Clients often believe that we will represent both spouses. You and your spouse may have reached an agreement all issues in your divorce. You and your spouse may have an agreement before meeting with one of our attorneys. We must preserve our ability to advise you in regards to your rights and responsibilities. We strive to avoid any related conflicts of interests. Our firm will only represent and advise one spouse. It is our firm’s policy to recommend that your spouse seek independent legal counsel. Your spouse’s attorney can review the settlement agreement. They will also review other documents prepared for an uncontested divorce. Your spouse’s attorney will be able to answer any legal questions they have.
How much does an uncontested divorce cost?
An uncontested divorce often saves financial resources. Our firm charges a higher fee in contested divorces. Since both spouses are in agreement on all of the issues in their divorce, we are able to more accurately predict the amount of time necessary to complete the case. This allows us to offer a flat-fee arrangement in lieu of a retainer and hourly billing. The amount of the flat-fee that we are able to offer for an uncontested divorce varies depending on several factors, such as the amount of marital assets and/or debts, the length of the marriage and whether the divorce involves child support and custody issues. Our flat-fees for uncontested divorces without children start at $1,500 (plus court costs) and start at $2,000 (plus court costs) for uncontested divorces with children.
Occasionally, our clients mistakenly believe that their case is uncontested, only to become aware of significant contested issues when the settlement agreement is presented to their spouse. If this occurs, we are able to apply the remaining balance of the flat-fee as a partial retainer and proceed with a contested divorce or mediation upon receiving the balance of the retainer.
Are there disadvantages to uncontested divorce?
The main disadvantage of an uncontested divorce is that the process does not have discovery procedures. Contested divorces have discovery procedures. Discovery is the process by which the parties formally request information and documentation from each other in a contested case. The party providing information and documentation in response to discovery requests in a contested case can risk penalties. When party is not forthcoming with requested information, they can be charged with penalties such perjury. Without the benefit of the discovery process, one party may not have accurate knowledge of their spouse’s income. During our discovery period we may uncover other marital assets and debts.
Providing All Correct Information is Important
If you lack accurate or complete information regarding the income of your spouse the consequences can be dire. For the extent of marital assets and marital debts, it is possible that an uncontested divorce could result in an agreement that provides an unfair amount of child support or alimony. It can also result in an inequitable division of marital assets and debts. In short, while an uncontested divorce provides several enticing benefits, including reduced legal fees, the risks involved may outweigh the benefits.
How long does an uncontested divorce take?
A court can finalize a divorce can in 35 days. This happens after both spouses agree to the settlement and file other required documentation to the court. However, before the settlement agreement and other required documentation can be filed with the court, it will need to be drafted by one of our attorneys and signed by both parties. Lack of cooperation by either party can have consequences. Spouses who do not cooperate can delay divorce.
Are there any other advantages to an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce can also serve to promote a more amicable relationship between the parties after the divorce is complete. Divorce is emotionally painful. Uncontested divorce can avoid some of the adversarial nature of a contested divorce. Contested divorce often induces clients to highlight the character flaws in their spouse. This can result in making allegations of misconduct by one party against the other. This is done as an attempt to advance their position in a particular issue. In an uncontested divorce the parties are able to avoid the adversarial nature of contested litigation. This can result in less hostility and resentment. In divorces involving minor children, an uncontested divorce may provide an environment that is more conducive to effective co-parenting. Read more about uncontested divorce.
Atlanta Uncontested Divorce Attorneys
We’re here to help you. Call us at 770.475.2521 for a complimentary consultation today from one of our experienced Atlanta uncontested divorce attorneys. Come visit one of our offices in Atlanta, Cumming or Alpharetta.