The word “divorce” carries a negative connotation in our society, but the truth is that not all couples who decide to end their marriage end up entangled in a nasty, expensive divorce that leaves them with feelings of anger and bitterness. It is possible to have an uncontested divorce and part ways amicably, which is preferable for many couples, especially those with children. If you and your spouse agree on how to resolve all or most of your divorce-related issues, you can pursue an uncontested divorce, which is the simplest and least contentious kind of divorce in California. Uncontested divorce is generally a more civilized process than contested divorce and it can have a less painful and distressing impact on everyone involved in the case, children included. For more information about uncontested divorces in California, or to discuss the specifics of your case with a reputable California divorce lawyer, contact (619) Divorce today.
Table of Contents California Uncontested Divorce
Affordable Uncontested Divorce Lawyer in California
Every divorce case is different and not everyone hires an attorney when filing for divorce in California. Under California law, you have the right to represent yourself in your uncontested divorce and you may choose to exercise that right and complete your divorce case on your own. Unfortunately, not all uncontested divorces are as simple as they seem in the beginning and if you decide to proceed without an attorney, you run the risk of making a mistake or encountering problems that could delay your case unnecessarily. The best way to get through an uncontested divorce in California as quickly and painlessly as possible is to hire the right attorney to handle the details of your case for you. At (619) Divorce, we have more than a decade of experience with uncontested divorces, which allows us to detect any potential pitfalls and make the necessary adjustments to allow your case to move forward without delay. We offer prospective clients a free consultation, so contact our firm to speak with a qualified California divorce lawyer right away.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
There are two main types of divorce in the state of California: contested and uncontested. An uncontested divorce is one where the divorcing spouses agree to end their marriage and are able to reach an agreement about how to handle property division, child custody and other key issues related to the divorce without a hearing. A contested divorce, on the other hand, is one where the spouses cannot reach a resolution on their own and must ask the court to decide for them. Spouses involved in a contested divorce often end up embroiled in a bitter and prolonged legal battle, which is why uncontested divorce is the more popular of the two options.
Qualifying for Divorce in California
If you want to get an uncontested divorce in California, there are certain residency requirements you must meet. Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of California for at least six months before the divorce petition is filed. You must also live in the county where you plan to file for at least three months before filing for divorce. Once the petitioner initiates the divorce process by filing a petition for divorce and serves the petition on the other spouse, known as the respondent, he or she has 30 days to respond. If those 30 days pass and the respondent did not file a response, the court will issue a default judgment and the divorce case will move forward.
Key Issues in an Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce doesn’t necessarily mean there are no issues the spouses must deal with in completing their divorce. Rather, spouses in an uncontested divorce agree (or at least don’t disagree) about the major issues in their divorce case, which may include the following:
- Identifying and dividing community property
- Identifying and dividing debts
- Spousal support/alimony
- Custody of minor children
- Visitation rights
- Child support payments
The majority of divorces in the United States are uncontested, but not all of them start out that way. After all, it is normal for divorcing spouses to disagree on matters that could have an impact on their lives (and the lives of their children as well, if they have any) for years to come. So long as they are eventually able to come to terms that they can agree on, they can still proceed with their divorce through the uncontested process.
Getting an Uncontested Divorce in California ##
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your uncontested divorce can be fairly straightforward. Rather than going to court and arguing with your spouse about custody or support issues, you can simply file court forms and draw up a divorce settlement agreement detailing the terms of your divorce that you have agreed upon. Even if you have some disagreements about certain issues related to your divorce, you may still be able to avoid going through a contested divorce in court. You will, however, have to negotiate with one another until you are in complete agreement on all issues. In many cases, couples who are able to communicate well can negotiate directly. If this is not possible, they can try mediation for assistance in resolving their disagreements, or they can negotiate through their attorneys. Once you have negotiated a mutually acceptable divorce agreement, you will have to get the agreement notarized and approved by a judge. In most uncontested divorce cases, the judge will sign off on the agreement, so long as it is fair and equitable to both spouses. As soon as the necessary divorce paperwork is complete and the mandatory six-month waiting period has passed, your uncontested divorce will be finalized. Whether you are the petitioner or respondent, it is a good idea to consult an attorney to get more details about the uncontested divorce process and learn more about your legal rights and responsibilities in a California divorce case.
Benefits of Uncontested Divorce
Cost is one of the biggest concerns among couples considering divorce. You have probably heard stories about people spending thousands of dollars in legal fees and other costs because their divorce was dragged out over months while they argued about child custody, spousal support and other legal matters. Not all divorces have to be so costly though. One of the main advantages of an uncontested divorce case is that it generally costs less than a contested divorce, depending on the specifics of the case. Because they are more straightforward and amicable, uncontested divorces also typically take less time, foster good communication between the spouses and give them more control over their final divorce settlement.
How a California Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Not every uncontested divorce is the same, nor does every uncontested divorce end up running smoothly. The process is easiest when the couple has no children and few assets, including property. But there are plenty of complicating factors that can upend a divorce proceeding and turn an uncontested divorce into a contested one. When you retain the services of our California divorce lawyers at (619) Divorce, we will guide you through every step of the divorce process, from filing or responding to the divorce petition to finalizing the divorce. We will handle the divorce paperwork for you, review your settlement agreement and file the necessary forms with the court. If you and your spouse reach an impasse in negotiating your divorce settlement, we can help you propose terms that you can both agree on, so you can keep your case out of court. If you do end up going to court, we will ensure that your rights and best interests are protected at every stage. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, you probably have pressing questions about how the divorce will affect you personally, financially and emotionally. In many divorce cases, tensions are running high and emotions are strained, which can make an already difficult situation even more challenging. When you hire our firm, we will do everything in our power to facilitate the process of negotiating a settlement with your spouse and help you get through your divorce quickly and efficiently. Even in the most amicable of situations, an attorney can be an extremely valuable asset when getting a divorce.
Contact Our California Divorce Lawyers Today
Choosing to get a divorce can be a difficult decision for any couple. There are emotional, financial and personal factors at play in a divorce that can make things complicated, even in the simplest of cases. And for many couples considering a divorce, learning how to cooperate with one another in ending their marriage and separating their lives in a way that satisfies both spouses can present a real challenge. That is one of the main reasons we recommend seeking legal guidance when pursuing an uncontested divorce in California. Our divorce lawyers understand how difficult divorce can be and we work hard to make the process as simple and straightforward for our clients as possible. With an uncontested divorce, you can end your marriage in a civilized manner and limit the emotional fallout that typically comes with divorce. Contact (619) Divorce today to discuss your uncontested divorce with a knowledgeable and affordable san diego divorce attorney.