Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce
The easiest of all types of divorce is an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is where the couple agrees on all issues relating to their divorce and this is when one spouse files an application for divorce and the other spouse does not file an answer. The spouse’s failure to file an answer is taken as being in agreement to the divorce filed; and he or she is not contesting the divorce and is in agreement with the divorce application. Therefore, one does not file for an uncontested divorce however, the divorce becomes uncontested if one spouse fails to file an answer to the divorce application of the other spouse within the required period of time.
The advantages of an uncontested divorce are:
- The marriage ends in a dignified and quiet way as the courts will grant the divorce without requiring the spouses to appear in court.
- An uncontested divorce can be resolved quicker and simpler than a contested divorce. The whole process is less stressful and there is a greater degree of privacy and control.
- The process of an uncontested divorce is shorter than a contested divorce which tends to drag an already long process longer. However, an uncontested divorce may take between four to six months instead of a number of years (that is after the one year separation requirement), therefore it makes for a quick divorce. As a result of this shorter duration it limits the stressful and tense experience associated with contested divorces and allows the spouses to get on with their lives faster.
- The main advantage of uncontested divorce is it lowers cost. This is because of the minimal involvement of outside parties in settling issues relating to the divorce. Here the divorcing parties must bargain with one another so as to settle issues. The issues involved in the bargaining process include such issues as child and spousal support, access and control of children, child custody, division of property and finances, etc.
- An uncontested divorce often allows for parties to the divorce to remain civil throughout the whole process and without the conflict associated with a contested divorce.
- An uncontested divorce has benefits to one’s family in that because the process is smooth and as a result to the low cost associated with it and the shorter time the process takes each divorce spouse can focus on their family and moving on. Further, the strain is lessened on the family and friends of the couple who are not forced to pick sides or required to give evidence by way of written or oral testimony as required in a contested divorce; which puts undue strain on the family and friends of the divorcing parties.
The main disadvantage of an uncontested divorce is where one spouse is being physically abused by the other spouse and where there is a history of domestic violence, emotional abuse or a disparity in power within the relationship. The problem this causes in uncontested divorce is that almost always one spouse has the advantage over the other, therefore, legal representation is needed for the abused party to the divorce.
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