We have all heard horrible divorce stories from friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Stories of anger and immense conflict involving custody and parenting time and the division of assets, property, and debt that we hope never happens to us personally. Thankfully not all divorces have to end up as we assume – going to Trial after months and months of litigation, court hearings, and significant legal fees.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one where there is no need for any litigation because the couple has reached an agreement on 100% of the custody and financial issues. All that needs to happen is the drafting of the legal paperwork to finalize the agreement. Having a consultation with an attorney to review the terms of uncontested divorce is always wise. It is an opportunity to discuss with the attorney the whole agreement. That attorney may have suggestions of issues the couple did not think about or realize should be included in their agreement. Plus, that attorney can assess whether the terms of the agreement are good or bad. Some agreements sound good but are not fair and a judge may not grant the divorce. It does not hurt to get a second opinion.
It is unethical for a Minnesota attorney to represent both parties in a divorce. Instead, an attorney can be a “secretary” of sorts and draft and complete all the paperwork necessary to start and complete a divorce. This way couples can take advantage of planning for their new future while saving time, energy and money.
How much does an uncontested divorce cost?
Couples who step back from the pain and hurt and focus instead on what they want their lives to be post-divorce can divorce in a much more humane and cost-effective way. How does a couple reach a mutual agreement on how to handle the children and the division of their financial net worth? Some couples work out a complete settlement on their own by sitting down together to craft their own agreement. One common and very effective approach is mediation. While mediation, which is voluntary, can cost the couple several hundreds of dollars, it can be done with or without attorneys. One or both parties may choose to have an attorney with them which does add to the cost; however, a divorce Trial is easily $10,000 or more and a Trial may not happen for a year. Litigation means less money for the couple who post-divorce has to adjust to living only on one income and parenting alone. The only people who benefit from a contested divorce after months of court hearings and litigation are the attorneys.
It goes without saying a divorce is a life event no one wants. If possible, aiming for an uncontested divorce is ideal. Every uncontested divorce is one less horrible divorce story for others to hear.
If you would like more information about an uncontested divorce or would like to get started, contact us at 218.722.2655 or fill out our consultation form. Contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation to discuss the divorce process.