When you first decide to meet with a divorce attorney, that attorney may ask you if you plan to pursue a contested or uncontested divorce process. "Huh?" you may understandably ask. In practical terms, an uncontested divorce (also known in Florida as dissolution) is one in which you and your spouse are not struggling with fundamental differences in regards to either property division or child custody matters.
If you and your spouse are facing the challenge of fundamental differences, your attorney will be able to help you sort these out via a contested divorce process. However, if you are able to pursue an uncontested process, it will likely progress more quickly, affordably and less stressfully than a contested process would.
The main issues that you and your spouse must agree on and sort out in writing during an uncontested divorce process are spousal support, property and debt divisions, and child custody matters. Once your divorce settlement has been drawn up and generally agreed upon, the signed agreement will be presented to the court. An uncontested divorce could actually be finalized in a matter of only a few weeks.
Advantages of an Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage
The biggest advantage of an uncontested dissolution is that it can have huge cost advantages. The court isn't involved in making decisions and usually agrees to the terms set forth and agreed upon by the two parties as long as they agree with them. This type of dissolution of marriage is very quick in comparison to a contested divorce in which parties can't agree on issues. The extra time and money involved in a contested divorce can lead to a lot of stress in both parties' lives.
Do I Need an Attorney for an Uncontested Dissolution?
Some states allow couples to file their dissolution paperwork jointly, while others make them file it separately. Usually one spouse hires an attorney who may only represent that one spouse and does not represent the other spouse. The party that is not represented may have a distinct disadvantage and should most probably hire their own attorney in order to ensure that their best interests are properly represented.