When a couple decides to divorce, it doesn’t have to lead to a dispute. In fact, where both spouses agree on property division, child support, spousal support and other issues, they can have an uncontested divorce.
Uncontested divorce process
There are a few general requirements that must be met first. At least one spouse must have resided in the state for at least 6 months. The spouse must submit a complaint to the court and serve it to the other spouse. Then, the spouse who is served can file an answer.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses will prepare a settlement agreement which outlines all of the terms they agree on and then submit it to the court. The court may require the spouses to attend a hearing where it will review the settlement agreement.
Once the court approves the settlement agreement, the spouses will receive a final divorce order.
Common topics to address
The specific items the parties agree on may vary depending on their individual circumstances, however there are some broad topics that are helpful to understand.
The spouses will need to decide how to divide their assets and debts, including their home, bank accounts and any personal property. If the couple shares children, they will need to address child custody and child support. This includes determining which parent will make major decisions and how they will financially support their children.
They will also need to discuss whether one spouse will receive spousal support, who will provide health insurance, who will pay for medical expenses and whether travel expenses for child visitation will be shared.
It is possible to end a marriage on a positive note through an uncontested divorce.