Not all divorces end up in the courtroom like popular media portrays. Many divorces can actually be settled amicably, or even uncontested. An uncontested divorce is the easiest and least stressful option when it comes to the divorce process in Florida, though it is certainly not for everyone. While an uncontested divorce is faster, less expensive, and usually less stressful than a contested divorce, both parties must be able to work together, make compromises, and be willing to communicate and cooperate on a level that is simply impossible for some divorcing couples. An uncontested divorce requires that you agree on all of the terms of the divorce, though each spouse may have a divorce lawyer present during mediation. It is also necessary to work with an attorney before mediation, of course, to ensure that there are no issues like hidden assets or other potential surprises that your spouse may be hiding from you. Our Miami divorce attorneys at the Florida Divorce Law Group can help you decide if an uncontested divorice is right for you, will guide you throughout the process leading up to mediation, and will be in your corner during mediation when hard decisions present themselves.
When is an Uncontested Divorce a Good Idea?
In our experience, the average time for a couple to divorce, when all divorce issues are settled, is just two weeks. For this to happen, both spouses must agree on all parts of the divorce, from custody to division of assets. Coming to this agreement may take some time, however. You do not need to agree on everything immediately, but you must be willing to work together to find a solution that you can both live with.
The Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce
The average contested divorce that does not go to court takes nine months to settle, according to Business Insider. The average contested divorce that goes to court (only 10% of all divorces are litigated in court) takes 17.6 months. For many couples, the time-saving benefit of a collaborative, uncontested divorce is the single most greatest reason they decide to make compromises and work together, as the average uncontested divorce takes just two weeks to finalize once the couple agrees on all of the divorce decisions. Aside from being much faster than a conventional, contested divorce, there are other benefits to an uncontested divorce, such as:
- Less Expensive—With a contested divorce, both couples need their own attorney, who they end up meeting with many times. This incurs a heavy financial cost, as do other aspects of a contested divorce, such as court fees, missed days of work, and childcare expenses due to spending additional time dealing with the divorce.
- Keep it On Your Schedule—In addition to being faster, an uncontested divorce can be fully up to you when it comes to scheduling times to meet with your spouse to discuss issues like custody and division of assets. The mediation can be scheduled to fit around your schedule as well, unlike a contested divorce that goes to court. Conversely, you do not have any control over scheduling court hearings or motion hearings.
- Easier On You and Your Children—Contested divorces are, by their nature, full of conflict. This can cause a significant degree of stress and anxiety, which may last for over a year as the divorce process drags on. High conflict, contested divorces can be especially hard on children. In fact, the more conflict between parents during a divorce, “the more intense the loyalty conflict becomes for the child,” according to Psychiatric Times. Collaborative divorces can therefore be a great boon to the emotional and psychological health of any minor children involved, as well as the mental health of each spouse.
- Keep Control Over Your Life—If your divorce goes all the way to court, a judge will end up deciding everything from custody to who gets to live in the family home. All control over these decisions is stripped from the spouses. In a collaborative divorce, while you may not get your way in 100% of the decisions, you at least have control over some or most of those decisions.
Divorce Issues That You Must Agree Upon With Your Spouse
In order for a successful uncontested divorce, both spouses need to be able to agree on the following essentials of divorce:
- Division of marital assets, including property and debt;
- Child custody;
- Child support; and
- Spousal support.
The Amicable Divorce Process in Florida
Most divorcing spouses are not at an immediate agreement when it comes to things like spousal support and division of assets. It takes time to discuss these issues, make compromises, and come to an understanding. This is the first step in the process of an uncontested divorce—to agree on the divorce essentials outside of the courtroom. When this has been accomplished, the next step is to draft the initial divorce documents, including a petition, settlement agreement, answer, and other documents. After these documents are filed, they will be delivered to a judge, who will then ask the following questions:
- Length of time you have been a resident of Florida;
- Whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken;
- Whether or not there are any minor children involved;
- If the wife is pregnant;
- If you signed a settlement agreement; and
- If the agreement was signed freely and voluntarily.
This simple hearing only takes a matter of minutes before the court makes a Final Judgment, at which point the divorce is official.
Call Today to Discuss Your Case With an Our Miami Divorce Attorneys
You do not have to make your divorce any harder than it has to be. If you and your spouse believe that you can reach agreements on all of the important issues like child support, alimony, division of assets, and child custody, you do not have to spend months or years battling it out in the courtroom. An amicable divorce can save you considerable time, money, and stress. Call our experienced Miami divorce attorneys today at the Florida Divorce Law Group at 1-866-240-0730 to schedule a free consultation.