If you’re just starting the process of dissolving your marriage, you may be wondering whether you need divorce help — especially if both parties are able to resolve disputes and reach agreements on their own. While filing uncontested divorce is often less complicated than having to go through an arduous legal battle over shared assets or parental responsibility, you’re probably still going to need to find a divorce lawyer to help you with filling out divorce papers or enforcing terms. Let’s take a closer look at uncontested divorces and why you should still consider hiring a lawyer if you’re filing for one.
What is uncontested divorce?
Unlike contested divorce, this type of divorce refers to situations in which both spouses have agreed on all issues, including division of property, alimony, and parental responsibility (if applicable).
Why would I need legal help if we’ve both agreed on terms?
Even if a divorce is uncontested, the process can still be quite stressful and tricky at times. And if you don’t have an experienced attorney to help you, you may end up agreeing to terms that are unfair to you or your children. While it’s often best if you are able to agree on terms, you’ll still want a lawyer’s help to ensure your divorce papers are filled out correctly and completely, that all petitions are signed and filed, and that you have a parenting plan in place if needed.
What are uncontested divorce proceedings like?
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in an uncontested divorce, which is why it’s beneficial to have legal help with your divorce papers. But there will also be a final hearing as part of the proceedings, which is held in front of a judge. This hearing is usually very short and in most cases, only the petitioner needs to attend these proceedings. Since women file for almost two-thirds of divorces, this often means the female partner’s presence will be required. And even if she didn’t file the petitions, she may need to be present if she’s seeking a name change as part of the proceedings. The petitioner will need to testify as to whether the marriage is irretrievably broken, whether there’s a settlement agreement and/or parenting plan in place that has been voluntarily signed by both parties, and whether they have resided in Florida during the six months prior to filing. Your attorney can give you a more complete idea of what to expect during proceedings and what you’ll need to bring along with you.
Even in cases of uncontested divorce, ending a marriage is never easy. During this emotional time, you’ll likely need all the support you can get. A reputable lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way and increase the chances of a peaceful and fair resolution.