Uncontested Divorce Lawyers in San Diego
Helping Clients Protect Their Rights
An uncontested divorce is an option for divorcing couples who wish to end their marriage on amicable terms while avoiding the high financial and emotional toll of a heavily litigated divorce. However, if you are getting an uncontested divorce, it is still important to stand up for your rights, even if you are not planning to go to trial. The family law attorneys at Khosroabadi & Hill go over how uncontested divorce proceedings work in California and why you may still want to retain an attorney to help you. If you are looking for a skilled divorce attorney to represent you or answer your questions, contact Khosroabadi & Hill at (858) 434-1020.
What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?
A contested divorce is when a couple cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, such as property division, alimony, child custody, or child support. In these cases, the couple may need to go to court and have the judge decide the terms of the divorce on their behalf. This process can be lengthy, expensive, and involve a lot of emotional distress, especially when one or both parties act uncooperatively and are not willing to reach a compromise.
In contrast, an uncontested divorce happens when a couple agrees on the terms of their divorce and can produce an agreement without going to trial. This type of divorce is often much faster, simpler, and more cost-effective than a contested divorce. Most importantly, an uncontested divorce allows the divorcing spouses to make decisions on their own terms and retain some control over the entire process instead of having a judge make such important decisions for them.
What Does a Divorcing Couple Need to Agree on in Order to Have an Uncontested Divorce?
During an uncontested divorce, couples need to agree on a number of crucial items, such as the division of assets and debts, spousal support, and child support and custody. The couple will also need to decide how they will handle the division of any property that was acquired during the course of the marriage and who gets to keep the pets, vehicles, and retirement accounts, for example.
Financial assets should also be discussed, and the parties may need to find a fair and
equitable resolution for the division of assets (including real estate, investment accounts, financial assets, and personal property) and debts (including credit card debt, mortgages, car payments, and any other liabilities), as well as alimony or child support payments, if applicable. Some uncontested divorce agreements may also contain provisions addressing how these issues should be handled in the future in case either party changes their mind about the terms of the agreement.
Is a No-Fault Divorce the Same as an Uncontested Divorce?
A no-fault divorce is a type of divorce where the couple does not need to prove that either party was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. This type of divorce is based on the idea that the marriage is no longer working and that it is best for both parties to move on. In contrast, an uncontested divorce is where both parties agree on the terms of the divorce and can produce an agreement without going to trial.
In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees on a number of issues, such as the division of assets and debts, spousal support, and child support and custody. Additionally, couples need to agree on how to handle marital property division. In other words, if the couple agrees on all aspects of the divorce, the divorce is uncontested. If neither party blames the other for the end of the marriage, the divorce is considered a no-fault divorce. Most uncontested divorces are also no-fault and thus require much less time and effort to complete.
How Is Child Custody and Support Decided in an Uncontested Divorce?
In an uncontested divorce involving children, the parties will need to reach a mutual agreement on key issues related to child custody and support, such as where the children will live, how much time they will spend with both parents, and which parent gets to make decisions regarding education, health care, and religious upbringing. The couple must also decide which parent will pay child support and, if so, how much. Additionally, the couple needs to agree on a visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent.
The spouses may have to submit their plans to the court for approval. In general, the judge may approve parenting plans that align with the best interests of the children. Since child custody and support matters tend to be very emotional for both sides, the parties may consider getting the help of a mediator to help them resolve any disagreements without going to trial.
What Are the Steps to Getting an Uncontested Divorce in California?
Before starting an uncontested divorce, the parties will need to make sure they meet the residency requirements for filing for divorce in California. The state requires either party to have lived in California for at least six months and either spouse to have lived in the county they plan to file in for at least three months.
The divorce process starts by filing all necessary forms with the court and paying the filing fee. The spouse who files is the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent. The respondent is served with the divorce papers next, and if they respond by agreeing with all the terms of the divorce, the divorce becomes uncontested. The parties may negotiate all relevant issues, such as property division and child custody, and then submit a written agreement for approval by the court. After a required 6-month waiting period, the divorce can be finalized without the need for a courtroom battle.
Why Is It a Good Idea to Hire an Attorney for an Uncontested Divorce?
Even if you do not plan to take your case to trial, hiring a skilled divorce attorney is still recommended. Even the most amicable of divorces can be difficult and very emotional, making it hard for both sides to act reasonably or make decisions with a clear mind. An attorney can help ensure that your divorce process goes smoothly while protecting your rights and helping you make the right decisions without acting solely based on your emotions.
Your attorney can help you with every aspect of your divorce – from making sure you are filling out and filing the necessary forms to helping you with any issues that may arise after the divorce is finalized. Getting an amicable divorce does not have to mean you are giving up your rights. Reach out to the attorneys at Khosroabadi & Hill by calling our office in San Diego at (858) 434-1020 and requesting an initial consultation to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you.