The Benefits of Choosing an Uncontested Divorce in Seattle

The process of going through a divorce is challenging. It is a period of great uncertainty and sometimes drastic changes.  Some of the most important elements of your life will be affected, and your relationship with your spouse will be strained. Despite this, some people are able to navigate the divorce process with minimal friction. Referred to as an uncontested divorce, understanding its benefits can help divorcing couples decide whether it is something they would like to try. If you have questions about whether uncontested divorce is right for you, an experienced divorce attorney can provide you with valuable guidance. 

What Exactly Is an Uncontested Divorce?

There are many misconceptions surrounding uncontested divorces. Some people think that an uncontested divorce is when the spouses agree that they should divorce. While this is a good start, an uncontested divorce means that both spouses agree to get a divorce and also, they agree on how to address all of the most important elements such as the following: 

Both spouses may not agree as to all the details of each of these items, but they more or less agree on the major points. For example, they may agree that one parent will have custody for the school year and the other will have the children for the summer, but they still need to work out some of the minor details, like holidays. That said, if you and your spouse can no longer get along and work together, resolving these details may be impossible, and an uncontested divorce may not be an option. In some cases, uncontested divorces can break down when the spouses are unable to resolve their differences. 

Another misconception is that an uncontested divorce follows a different legal procedure. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You have to follow the same legal procedures as you do in a contested divorce. Ultimately, the difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce is more of a difference of degree than a difference in kind.  

Lastly, many people think they do not need a lawyer if they have an uncontested divorce. While you are never required to be represented by a lawyer, an experienced divorce lawyer can provide valuable guidance even if you and your spouse can agree to all of the aspects of your divorce. They can not only help you file the paperwork, but they can also identify potential future issues and identify pragmatic solutions to common practical problems. 

An Uncontested Divorce Means Less Time Spent in Court

Probably the most obvious benefit of an uncontested divorce is the fact that you will spend less time in court, and therefore spend less money on attorneys fees. To understand why this is, you need to understand how the divorce process works. 

When you file for divorce, your divorce and all of the issues it includes will be decided by a judge. The judge will be more involved in cases where the parties cannot come to an agreement. In an uncontested divorce, the judge is only minimally involved because the spouses have agreed on how their marriage should be dissolved and how they will handle their related responsibilities going forward. In that situation, the judge reviews the case mostly to ensure compliance with the local and state court rules and that any agreements regarding children and child expenses comply with the law.  

For the parties, this means that your divorce will proceed through the court more quickly than if it were contested. And if your attorney works on an hourly basis, this means that your divorce will be less expensive than a contested divorce. 

Uncontested Divorces Tend to Lead to Mutually Agreeable Outcomes

Uncontested divorces work when the spouses are willing to compromise in order to reach an acceptable outcome. Couples in uncontested divorces approach the process as an opportunity to negotiate for what is truly important to them while remaining flexible. This requires the spouses to have a clear sense of their priorities and be able to keep their emotions in check. In return, they get to take an active role in determining what their post-divorce future will look like. 

By contrast, contested divorces are ultimately decided by the judge. That means that the judge will determine how your assets are divided, how custody will be shared, and who will pay how much in support. These decisions will possibly be made with very little input from you and without regard to your priorities. With an uncontested divorce, you are likely to get most of what you want. With a contested divorce, you are likely to get far less. 

Uncontested Divorces Are Far Less Stressful

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally draining process. Even when the process is amicable, each spouse faces a great deal of uncertainty – you may need to find a new place to live, pay your bills, and manage childcare without daily help. These stresses combined with fighting over the kids, your assets, and support obligations can quickly become exhausting. 

In a contested divorce, the process is much more adversarial and expensive. As mentioned above, important issues will likely be decided by the judge, which adds the stress associated with uncertainty. In addition, the process tends to become more expensive as it becomes more adversarial. An uncontested divorce can help you avoid a lot of the stress commonly associated with divorce because you have a much greater degree of control. 

Contact Seattle Divorce Services Today

Uncontested divorce isn’t for everyone, but with some patience and commitment, it can be a viable option for you. At Seattle Divorce Services, we pride ourselves on offering a variety of divorce representation options tailored to serve each client’s unique situation. To discuss your case and your options, call us today at 206-784-3049 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.