What is uncontested divorce, and how do you proceed with it?

“Uncontested divorce” means that the parties settle the issues in the divorce case rather than arguing over the issues and having the judge decide the issues after a period of trial preparation and trial.

If you and your spouse can fairly settle all the issues in your divorce without a trial, you will both save thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars, months (even years of time and effort), and spare yourselves the misery that comes from spending all that time, money, and effort on fighting.

Even if you don’t get everything you want in the process of reaching a compromise and a settlement with your spouse, when you consider that you have to gain by reaching a settlement that makes the compromises easier to make and accept (indeed, sometimes it makes the compromises no-brainers). For example, it makes no sense to spend months and thousands of dollars fighting over who gets the 10-year-old car when you can invest that time and money in buying a replacement car.

In Utah, where I practice divorce law, an uncontested divorce is rather simple to accomplish. The basic steps are:

  • One of you must file a complaint for divorce, so that the court can exercise jurisdiction over you and your marital estate and grant you the divorce and make the orders for the division of marital property and child custody, etc.
  • Then you and your spouse sign a settlement agreement, which is a signed, dated written agreement setting the terms by which you and your spouse agree to resolve all of the issues in your divorce.
  • You draw up the documents the court will sign and submit them to the court. These include your “Decree of Divorce”. Your decree of divorce will incorporate the terms of your your settlement agreement.
  • Your judge signs the decree of divorce, which then becomes a binding order and judgment.
  • That’s basically all there is to it (there are some other steps in addition to the 4 I just described, but they are part and parcel of this 4-step process).

To find out how to obtain an uncontested divorce, or to discuss more of the details of an uncontested divorce, speak with an attorney. I’ll be happy to answer what questions I can, if you’d like to call me (but remember, I am only licensed in Utah): 801-466-9277.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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