An uncontested divorce is when both parties involved in the marriage come to a mutual agreement about how to move forward with the dissolution of their marriage. Unlike contested divorces, an uncontested divorce does not require trials or hearings, as both parties have already agreed on the terms of the divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually faster than contested divorces since there is no need for litigation or extensive negotiations between spouses.
For an uncontested divorce to be recognized by the courts, the agreement must meet specific state guidelines and requirements. As such, it is essential to have a lawyer who is experienced in divorce law and can help you navigate the process. Contact Khosroabadi & Hill today to schedule a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can evaluate your situation and explain whether an uncontested divorce may be a good option for you.
What Are the Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in California?
There are some basic conditions you must meet to be eligible to file for an uncontested divorce, including:
- At least one spouse must be a California resident for at least six months before filing the divorce petition.
- The spouse filing the petition must be a resident of the county where the divorce case is taking place for at least three months prior to the divorce.
- Both spouses must agree on every issue regarding the divorce.
- Both spouses must be able and willing to sign all necessary paperwork.
Are There Fees for an Uncontested Divorce?
Whether contested or uncontested, every California divorce case begins with filing a petition for the dissolution of your marriage or domestic partnership. The cost to file this form is $435.
However, if this expense would cause you financial hardship, you may submit an additional form to request a waiver for your filing fee.
What Subjects Must Be Handled in a Divorce Agreement?
Divorce agreements can be incredibly complex because they must deal with every aspect of the dissolution of a marriage. Separating your finances, parenting responsibilities, and more can quickly get complicated. To create a valid divorce agreement for an uncontested divorce, you and your former spouse must reach a consensus on the following concerns:
- Child custody and decision-making responsibilities
- Visitation/parenting time schedules
- Child support
- Spousal support, also called alimony
- Division of all assets, including property, real estate, bank accounts, investments, businesses, retirement plans, and other property accumulated during the marriage
- Division of debts incurred throughout the marriage
A skilled divorce lawyer can help you navigate the details of an uncontested divorce and ensure that the terms you are agreeing to are reasonable and fair. Some people are so eager to avoid the difficulties of a contested divorce that they are willing to sign an agreement that is not equitable to them. While rapidly ending your marriage may seem appealing at the time, signing away your rights can have long-term negative impacts. You could lose precious time with your children, face financial challenges, or lose valuable assets you worked hard to obtain. To avoid these harmful consequences, you should always consult with a trusted family law attorney before signing a binding contract like a divorce agreement.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take to Finalize in California?
The length of time it takes for an uncontested divorce to become finalized depends on many factors. Even if you agree on all aspects of the divorce, you must create a formal written document recording these agreements and present it to the court for their approval. As long as there are no errors or omissions in the document and the court does not have reason to believe that either party is being subjected to unfair treatment, they will likely approve the divorce agreement.
Once it is approved, there is still a six-month waiting period until the divorce is finalized. So while an uncontested divorce will take no less than six months from start to finish, it could be several months longer, depending on how long it takes to create your agreement and get it approved.
What Are Some Benefits Of An Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce offers many benefits, such as avoiding the expense, stress, and delays associated with a contested divorce proceeding. Additionally, an uncontested divorce is often more amicable than a contested one, allowing both parties to move forward with their lives after the dissolution of their marriage. It also allows the former spouses to have more agency in their divorce instead of leaving vital choices in the hands of the court.
It’s also important to note that an uncontested divorce requires both parties to be accountable for the decisions they make regarding their marriage. This ensures that both spouses have a vested interest in reaching an agreement they can live with since the terms are mutually settled upon by everyone involved.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
At Khosroabadi & Hill, our experienced family law attorneys understand the complex issues that may arise when negotiating an uncontested divorce. We are dedicated to ensuring your interests are well-represented throughout the entire process. From filing paperwork to helping negotiate the terms of your divorce agreement, we will be by your side every step of the way.
The end of a marriage can be highly emotional and challenging. The daunting task of sorting out all the issues involved in a divorce, from dividing joint assets to determining child custody, can be overwhelming. If you’re considering divorce, contact our firm as soon as possible to start working through the nuances of an uncontested divorce. Contact our office today at (858) 240-2093 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can make the process easier, so you can focus on moving forward with your life.