In many divorce cases, there is some question of whether the case is an “uncontested” case or not. Statistically, most cases are contested, meaning that at least one issue cannot be agreed upon by the parties. This does not mean that each “contested” case has to be long, drawn-out, and messy. But, it does mean that the judge will have to make a decision on at least one issue that the parties cannot agree upon themselves.
However, some cases truly are “uncontested”–meaning that the parties agree on ALL issues in the case. This means that they agree on who gets primary custody of the children, what kind of visitation schedule the other parent will have, how they will work together on making parenting decisions, how much child support the non-possessory parent will pay, how much alimony/spousal maintenance will be paid, how the parties will divide up their property, how the parties will divide up their debts, who will live in the marital home, and many other issues. As you can see, it is very difficult for parties who are getting divorced to agree on all of these issues. But, where they can agree, it can make the process much quicker, simpler, and cheaper than in contested cases. Typically, in an uncontested case, only one short hearing is required, and the parties simply have their lawyers draft an Agreed Final Decree of Divorce. This document spells out how each of these issues described above will be handled, and will typically be signed by the judge as long as neither party took advantage of the other in an egregious way.
In most instances, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced Family Law Attorney to determine which type of case you have–an uncontested case or a contested case.
If you have questions about this or any other Family Law matter, please give us a call at 214-236-2712.