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What is an uncontested divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2018 | Family Law

We have all heard the stories about the divorce process from family and friends. It’s often long and bitter, drawn out over details regarding every last piece of property and the exact visitation schedule with the children. But it does not have to be that way. Sometimes, a divorce is uncontested.

This simply means that a complete agreement is presented to the court with no decisions left to be made. The judge will review it and make sure it complies with Louisiana law, but will probably not modify the details outside of that scope. It is an option for many couples who want to make an amicable separation and get on with their new lives apart.

When is uncontested divorce appropriate?

Typically, an uncontested divorce is the product of mediation between the two divorcing spouses. It may seem that since everything is decided that the two parties simply agreed on the terms. That is not always the case, however, as mediation can be a long and thorough process covering all of the same details that a contested divorce might.

The difference is in the determination for both parties to come to a resolution on their own terms, one way or another. When that is in place, a filing for uncontested divorce can be done regardless of how the agreement was arrived at.

Couples may enter into mediation in an attempt to create an agreement and file an uncontested divorce, but still hold the right to file for a traditional contested divorce, where the judge decides the details, should everything fall apart.

What is involved?

All divorces hinge on four main issues. These have to be resolved to have a successful uncontested divorce filing that will be approved by the court. These are:

  • Appropriate division of all property
  • Similar division of all debts and other liabilities
  • Custody of children, if there are any, including legal and physical custody
  • Any alimony or child support

If these four items can be worked out to the satisfaction of both parties, an uncontested divorce filing is possible.

How do you file for uncontested divorce?

The process for an uncontested divorce is the same as when the divorce is contested. The filing occurs in the home parish of one or both parties. They have to state that they have been living apart for 90 days if there are no children or 365 days if there are children. The only difference is that the agreement covering the potential items of conflict are presented with the filing to the court.

It is not essential that you have a lawyer represent you in court for an uncontested divorce, but it can help to make the process easier. Couples filing for uncontested divorce are usually looking for a smooth and quick process, so it is in their interest to have an experienced family law attorney represent them.

An uncontested divorce is certainly an option in Louisiana for couples hoping to make the process simpler, quicker, and less emotionally draining.