An “uncontested” divorce is one where both spouses are able to come to an agreement about all the major issues that have to be settled, including things like the disposition of the family home, the cars, the marital assets and debts, custody of the children and support.
Most of the time, they’re vastly preferred to full-blown litigation (which is called a “contested” divorce), for a variety of reasons.
1. They can be vastly cheaper.
Nobody wants to waste money – and fighting about the details when a marriage is over can be a huge financial drain. The average cost of an uncontested divorce is only $4,100, but divorces that go to trial on two issues or more cost an average of $23,300.
2. They offer greater control.
If you want more control over the outcome of your divorce and the freedom to be creative with the terms of your split, uncontested is the way to go. Otherwise, you are putting your affairs in the hands of the court, and that tends to result in formulaic outcomes that leave nobody satisfied.
3. You can retain more privacy.
Uncontested divorces involve fewer court appearances, and they’re less likely to involve the public disclosure of any personal details. If you’re concerned about keeping the private facts of your divorce out of the public eye, an uncontested divorce makes that much easier.
4. It can be a lot less hostile.
All trials are, by nature, adversarial – and that can put a lot of stress on the participants. When couples agree to cooperate toward a resolution, that can be far less emotionally taxing. It can also help set the stage for a better co-parenting relationship, if you have children.
All that being said, uncontested divorces aren’t right for everybody. Learning more about your options can help you make informed decisions.