Not every divorce is hostile or adversarial – the process can proceed largely by agreement, negotiation, and consent, such as with an uncontested divorce. While an uncontested divorce can greatly simplify the process, that does not mean that it is without its challenges. If you think an uncontested divorce is the right path for you, a Seattle uncontested divorce lawyer can guide you through the process and on to a new beginning. 

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is more than just when both spouses agree to divorce. In general, an uncontested divorce requires that the spouses agree on all of the important aspects of the divorce, including the following: 

An uncontested divorce is likely not an option for you if you and your spouse cannot see eye to eye on these issues or simply cannot get along. In a nutshell, the spouses will pretty much have all of the terms of the divorce worked out before they file their paperwork. All that needs to be done is to have it approved by the court. If you think you can agree on all of the important issues, an uncontested divorce lawyer can help you proceed. 

The Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce

To put it simply, an uncontested divorce saves time, money, stress, and frustration. The reason is that an uncontested divorce avoids all of the litigation that people associate with divorce – motions and hearings over the division of property, custody issues, and spousal support obligations. The less time you spend in court, the less money you will spend on legal fees. And while the divorce process is never easy, an uncontested divorce can minimize the emotional toll that divorce can take. 

Perhaps more importantly, an uncontested divorce allows the parties to determine the outcome of their divorce rather than a court.  This approach, like others, such as a collaborative divorce, a “kitchen table” divorce, or a mediated divorce, can help preserve both dignity and privacy when executed well.  

The Process for Obtaining an Uncontested Divorce

The legal process is largely the same for obtaining an uncontested divorce as it is for a contested divorce. You will need to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court in your or your spouse’s county of residence along with some other disclosures and documents. To expedite the process, your spouse should file a joinder to your Petition, indicating that they are in agreement with the divorce. Once you have completed a 90-day waiting period, the parties can present an Agreed Final Divorce Order (Decree of Dissolution) and other agreed final orders to the court.  If all of the required documents are presented and both parties have signed them, the court will typically sign off on the documents as presented.  

While this sounds straightforward, even minor mistakes can cause issues with your divorce. A knowledgeable Seattle uncontested divorce lawyer can make the process move forward as smoothly as possible. 

A Seattle Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions 

Do I need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?

Strictly speaking, you do not need a lawyer in any divorce proceeding – both parties are always free to represent themselves or proceed “pro se.” People often choose to go this route in an attempt to save money. 

While the disadvantages of proceeding pro se in a contested divorce may seem obvious, you should carefully consider the decision to proceed without a lawyer even if your divorce is uncontested. Here are a few reasons why you should consider working with an uncontested divorce attorney: 

  • Unintended consequences. Even when divorces are amiable, the parties can enter into a property settlement or child custody agreement without fully understanding the ramifications. For example, your divorce could result in additional tax liability depending on how it is structured or your custody arrangement may not be practical when your children are older in a year or two. An experienced attorney can help you fully understand what you are getting into in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. 
  • Unnecessary delays. Even if your divorce is uncontested, you will still need to proceed through the court. This means that you will need to complete legal paperwork and follow the necessary procedures. Procedural errors or failure to complete the paperwork correctly can result in unnecessary delays, leading to additional stress and frustration for everyone involved. An attorney can help you navigate the divorce process quickly and efficiently. 
  • Unnecessary arguments. Even when a divorce is uncontested, disputes can arise when it comes time to nail down the details of the custody arrangements, division of property, or support obligations. While some conflict may be unavoidable, a skilled uncontested divorce attorney can help you quickly resolve the dispute before it jeopardizes your divorce. 

When should I seek guidance from a Seattle uncontested divorce lawyer?

Proceeding pro se may be a valid option for some couples. However, you should seek advice from an attorney for your uncontested divorce if any of the following apply to you or your spouse: 

  • You have complex assets or own a business
  • You or your spouse have a high income
  • You have children under the age of 18
  • You or your spouse are pregnant
  • You have been married for a long time 

Uncontested divorces are easiest when the divorcing couples’ affairs are simple. The more complicated they are, the more likely you will encounter issues. In some cases, the issues may not be obvious until after your divorce has been finalized. 

How long does it take to get an uncontested divorce?

It is difficult to say how long the process will take in general because there are many different factors that can affect the timeline. You should first be aware that Washington law requires a 90-day waiting period after your papers are filed. If everything is in order and no disagreements over the divorce have arisen during that time period, you can expect the process to move pretty quickly. Working with a uncontested divorce lawyer ensures that your divorce will be granted as quickly as possible. 

Talk to a Seattle Uncontested Divorce Lawyer at Seattle Divorce Services Today

At Seattle Divorce Services, we provide legal solutions tailored to each client’s specific needs. To discuss whether an uncontested divorce is an option for you, contact us today by calling 206-784-3049 to schedule a consultation.