What is an “Uncontested Divorce” And How Does It Work?
It’s an unfortunate fact these days, but the ending of a marriage is quite a common occurrence. Despite popular culture depicting otherwise, not every divorce has to involve conflict and argument: quite often in fact, spouses are able to agree on wrapping up their marriage without any true conflict that would require an expensive and messy divorce.
What makes a divorce uncontested?
One of the most common questions we get when people call The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas LLP about a divorce is, “What makes a divorce uncontested?” This is a great question, as it signals that we may have a situation where we can get a divorce done in a way that is as pain-free as possible and allows everyone involved to just move on in their lives. Perhaps you are contemplating divorce, but you know that you and your spouse can (or have) reached an agreement: in which case, this post is for you!
Have the Parties Discussed Divorce?
The first thing we ask a potential client is whether the parties have discussed divorce with each other. If everyone has reached some level of acceptance that divorce is inevitable, even if they are unhappy with it, that tends to make things much smoother. If they have reached that conclusion, we then ask whether the parties have any marital property such as a home or vehicles, as well as marital debt and if there has been a discussion on how to divide those assets and debts. If the parties know what they want to take out of the marriage and make sure that the division is fair and equal of all property and debts, that’s going to make the process go smoother.
Are There Children Involved?
We want to know about any children, and if custody, visitation, and support have been discussed. Arkansas law states that joint custody of children between the parents is preferred, but if the parties agree to some other schedule, that will also be accepted. Child support is required under Arkansas law and is a calculation based on the gross income of each of the parties and then expenses of the child(ren), such as who pays for their health insurance and perhaps any after-school care. There is a worksheet produced by the Arkansas Supreme Court that calculates this amount automatically.
Agreement between parties can make the process quicker and easier
Provided that there is agreement on divorce, division of property and debts, and custody, visitation, and support, then we have an uncontested divorce. Depending on the county where you live and the circumstances of your case, you and your spouse may not be required to appear in court at all on the divorce, and we can get it done just with filings. The time window on that can be as little as 30-45 days, depending on how quickly everyone signs the necessary documents, and we submit them to the Judge for signature.
Get Help with Your Divorce Questions
As you can see, for spouses who can agree that divorce is necessary and address questions around property and their minor children, the divorce process can be simple, streamlined, and at a far lower cost than would be incurred if there are disputes. The attorneys at The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas LLP know that legal situations can change, even if all parties involved had extensive discussions.