Many decisions have to be made when a divorce occurs. The couples may choose to agree or disagree on certain issues. Couples that choose to settle the issues amicably can file for an uncontested divorce. On the other hand, couples that don’t want to give way to each other and choose to fight can file for a contested divorce.
Uncontested Divorce and Settling Out of Court
An uncontested divorce can be finalized faster than contested divorce since there is no need to attend court trials. You also save time from having to undergo various legal procedures. As a result, an uncontested divorce lawsuit will cost much less. The downside of uncontested divorce is that it is very hard to appeal for the terms of divorce if you change your mind afterwards. An uncontested divorce can be finalized within 3 – 6 months. It has fewer hassles because only a few documents are needed.
Representation in Contested Divorce
A contested divorce takes one year or longer to resolve. It is more complicated as you are required to provide more documents to prove your claims. The legal fee for a contested divorce is also more expensive because it is a prolonged case. Both you and your spouse will be required to attend a court trial to complete the process.
A contested divorce will ultimately be settled by the judge if both parties cannot agree on the contended issues. The way the judge rules on your divorce will be different than the way you intended. You don’t have to let the judge help you decide on the major issues. You can work with a family law attorney to resolve the issues before appearing at the trial. Family law lawyers can listen to your circumstances and give his advice so that you can make a sound decision. He will then draft a settlement agreement that outlines the agreement for the major issues of the divorce.
Representation of a qualified family attorney is necessary if you have children. It is easier to obtain primary custody of your children when you have a lawyer. You can work out with your spouse about the visitation or you can let the lawyer help in making the arrangement. The lawyer can also speak to your spouse about the child support, which he is supposed to provide since he is not the primary caregiver of the children.
It is not recommended that you represent yourself in a contested divorce. An average person that is not trained in the knowledge of the local laws can get left out in the courtroom due to the complexities surrounding it. You must discuss all your issues with the lawyer during the meeting. You don’t want to have to deal with other lingering issues after the divorce case is finalized.
What Happens After Divorce is Filed?
The assets and properties will be put on hold after the divorce is filed. Neither you nor your spouse will be able to sell or borrow against the property. It is also prohibited to make changes to the insurance plans. To ensure the divorce is finalized smoothly, both you and your ex-spouse should disclose all the financial information.