Uncontested Divorce Attorney in Reading
Helping You Reach an Easier Conclusion
In legal terms, “contest” has nothing to do with anyone in a competition. To “contest” something legally means that you are challenging it. This is why you sometimes hear about someone pleading “no contest” in a criminal trial. They are telling the court that they aren’t pleading guilty, but they also aren’t challenging the accusation.
In family law, a divorce can be contested or uncontested. Contested divorces are the ones we typically imagine, with two people fighting for their money, house, cars, and kids. Uncontested divorces look very different.
What Is Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one where both sides agree to the divorce. In theory, no one is fighting or arguing. Agreements are made beforehand about how to divide assets, child custody, spousal support, and so forth. The process is different from state to state, but in general, this is how an uncontested divorce works.
Pennsylvania’s Uncontested Divorce Process
The state sometimes refers to uncontested divorces as “no-fault” and “mutual consent.” At first, the process is much the same as a challenged divorce. One partner files for the divorce, and the other is served the paperwork. From there, the steps are pretty simple. Both parties agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” meaning there is nothing that can fix it. Everyone agrees to the divorce, and each person signs an affidavit showing their consent. If all of that has been done, the divorce is granted 90 days after the original filing. Even if one of the parties decides not to appear in court, the divorce is finalized.
In an idealized world with idealized results, two people can make these arrangements and move on. Typically, that’s not the case. If you’re getting a divorce, there’s probably a reason, and there’s probably some bitterness. Luckily, in Pennsylvania, you can have courts settle those disputes, even in an uncontested divorce. If both parties agree to the divorce but can’t agree on child custody or property division, they can file for those items separately. At Law Office of Nikolas D. Capitano, we can handle such a dispute, even in a mutual consent divorce.
Positives of an Uncontested Divorce
There are a number of reasons why a no-fault divorce is favorable to litigating in court. First off, there is less paperwork. The mechanisms are far more streamlined, so everything is easier to manage.
A no-fault divorce will cost you less money. You will be skipping court costs and the expenses of going to and from court for days. Uncontested divorces take up far less of your time. You will have less meetings with your attorney, discussing your strategies, and you will skip long courtroom proceedings. Saving time also saves you money, as you and your lawyers will have less work to do.
Hopefully, a no-fault divorce will help you avoid conflict. If you and your ex are still on good terms, you can agree to whatever you want, sign the paperwork, and never have to fight about it in the future.
Privacy is an issue in contested divorces. Since they take place in a courtroom, they become a matter of public record. A particularly ugly divorce can dig up some unpleasant accusations, information you may not want available to the populace. In an uncontested divorce, there is no need to expose one another’s skeletons. You can discuss those particulars behind closed doors, and the record will show only when the divorce was finalized.
Finally, a mutual consent divorce can have emotional benefits. Divorce is hard enough. Whether you love or hate your ex, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to an entire chapter of your life and start over. Long, bitter court battles only add to the pain. When you and your ex can agree to terms in advance, it’s always going to be easier on you later.
Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Serving Reading & Berks County
Even though the process is much easier, you should still seek an attorney in any divorce. Our Reading no-fault divorce lawyer can help guide you, keeping the process clean and the paperwork straight. When disagreements arise, we can help mitigate the conversation to reach mutually beneficial conclusions.
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