Uncontested, contested, no-fault? What do all these terms mean? Is an uncontested divorce an affordable way to get a marriage dissolution? Which option is cheaper? Often couples going through a divorce wonder which option would be cheaper. At the end of the day, you want your divorce to be finalised without leaving you in complete poverty. So would an uncontested divorce be cheaper? Keep reading to find out.
Firstly, what is an uncontested divorce? An uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse agree to all the terms and conditions set out in your divorce. You agree on how your assets and debts should be split, you agree about child custody and maintenance. So basically an uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse have ended your divorce on a good foot. In an uncontested divorce, you also would not have to go to court.
A contested divorce is the opposite of an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse can not agree on anything. Therefore in an uncontested divorce, you don’t agree on how to split your assets, you don’t agree on child custody or how to split your debts, you might not even agree on getting a divorce. During an uncontested divorce, you might have to go to court, if you can’t come to an agreement.
So which would be more affordable? What do you think?
The answer is that an uncontested divorce is far more affordable than a contested divorce. Why is this? Well if you and your spouse agree on everything, you won’t even need a lawyer. Lawyers fees are incredibly expensive and can range from anything between $150 and $250 an hour. Another advantage of an uncontested divorce is that you could even file for a divorce online. If you use an online divorce company you could really save money. Some online divorce companies offer a flat fee of $299. This is a huge difference in comparison to a contested divorce that could on average end up costing between $15 000 and $20 000 per person. One of the best things about using an online divorce company is that you can file for a divorce from the comfort of your own home. For couples who have an amicable divorce, going the traditional route is completely unnecessary. It is expensive and can be lengthy. Using an online divorce company for an uncontested divorce will be cheap, easy and quick. Save yourself the trouble of going the traditional route. If you can agree with your spouse, rather go the simpler route.
Interestingly enough, many couples often start out with a contested divorce, only to agree on matters outside of court. If couples reach a settlement this will also lower the costs of having your divorce go to trial. The best things about a settlement are that neither party will be able to appeal it because they have come to an agreement. If you come to a settlement outside of court, a judge will have to review and approve your settlement. A judge will usually approve of a settlement if it is clear that each party was fairly treated. This is so much better than having the stress of a contested divorce. An uncontested divorce costs on average $300. If you need an attorney, you will then need to pay them extra if you would like them to review your paperwork.
If you have minor children and substantial assets, you might be wondering if it could be possible to still have an uncontested divorce, so that you can save money. The answer is yes, you could possibly still have an uncontested divorce if you agree with each other on absolutely every aspect of your divorce. If there are one or two issues that you and your spouse disagree on, you could still avoid going to trial by perhaps hiring a lawyer or a mediator to help you come to an agreement. A mediator charges between $300 and $800 an hour. It is also possible to negotiate via your attorneys but this will increase the cost of the divorce process, and your reading this article because you want an affordable marriage dissolution. It’s really important once again to try and come to an agreement together with your spouse if you really want to save costs during your divorce.
When it comes to an uncontested divorce, you could also get away without using an attorney at all. But it is advisable to use an attorney to review your paperwork at least. If you file your paperwork incorrectly or make a mistake, then it would be very hard to change the mistake you made, or even worse, you would have to start the entire process all over again. This will only increase the length of time that it takes for your divorce to be finalised.
That’s also one of the great benefits of an uncontested divorce is that you might be able to get away with only having to pay for the court filing fees.
Sometimes though, no matter how hard you try to reach an agreement, even with a mediator, you still might not be able to come to an agreement. If this is the case, then you might have to have a contested divorce and go to trial. This might be needed in major disagreements. An uncontested divorce would definitely be the cheaper and most affordable option, but sometimes this is not possible.