There are situations where both parties are in total agreement on the terms of their divorce. If a marriage is short-term, if there are no children, and/or if there are limited assets or debts, it is far easier for a couple to reach agreement on how their divorce will be handled. When this is the case, some people will decide to handle the legal process of ending their marriage themselves. Packets containing the appropriate court forms are available at the Family Court Clerk’s Office, as well as online. The forms can be completed and filed with the court with a modest amount of research and time, allowing individuals an opportunity to file and finalize the dissolution of their marriage without the need for an attorney.
Other individuals are far more comfortable having a skilled attorney handle the process for them, even when the terms of the divorce are uncontested. It is the safest way to be sure that all aspects of your agreement are fully addressed in the appropriate legal terms and documents. Additionally, your time can often be better spent doing other things, rather than learning how to complete your own divorce. Leave it to the professionals.
There are significant advantages to an uncontested divorce if you are able to reach an agreement with your spouse:
- The process is sure to be quicker because of eliminating the negotiating and posturing that happens in contested legal proceedings.
- The process will be cheaper because fewer attorney hours will be needed to reach an agreement or litigate issues.
- The final terms of the divorce will more likely suit your needs and be agreeable to you because there will be less contentious compromise and there will be no need for a judge to determine any terms of the divorce.
There is no doubt that being in full agreement with your spouse on the terms of your divorce makes the process much easier. The one cause for concern is that you have not agreed to terms that are unfair or that disadvantage you, due to coercion or failure to understand your rights. If there is any question, you should always seek the advice of an attorney before entering into any agreement.
Collaborative law is a fairly new approach to negotiating and reaching the terms of your divorce. It is a less adversarial process in which both parties hire attorneys trained specifically in collaborative law; and all individuals involved, the parties and their attorneys, sign an agreement to mutually approach the process in an amicable and fair manner, without adversity. The individuals are not at odds, they work together to reach a resolution. Clearly, this works only in low-conflict situations. If a resolution is not reached, the parties and attorneys all go their separate ways and start again from the beginning.
At this time, Morris – Sockle does not offer a collaborative divorce option. However, we remain dedicated to handling all cases in a civil manner and working to minimize adversity whenever possible.