Terms like "amicable divorce" and "co-parenting" are popping up more and more frequently in the news as celebrities try to work together in the best interest of their children rather than dragging each other through the mud. But you don't need expensive celebrity divorce attorneys to draw up these family-friendly agreements. It's called an uncontested divorce and many states have laws that make it very possible for you to maintain a cordial, if not good, relationship with your ex, whether you're doing it to maintain peace for your kids or just don't see any reason your divorce has to be drama-riddled.
Here's what you need to know about this kinder, gentler divorce process.
1. It requires very little time in court
The point of an uncontested divorce is to allow the parties to settle the issues of the divorce together, outside the courtroom. The final agreement still has to be approved by the court, but if you and your spouse are able to work out an agreement, it saves both of you a lot of emotional and financial strain.
2. Both parties have to agree to it
Both spouses have to formally sign Family Law Financial Affidavits, Notices of Social Security Number and a Settlement Agreement. Other documents also must be executed, especially if minor or dependent children are at issue. For example, a parenting plan must be agreed upon and signed by both parties. If both of you cannot agree to sign all the required documents, you will have to go to court whether you like it or not.
3. As with any divorce, either party, or both, may still have an attorney
Both parties may a lawyer who protects their legal rights and negotiates to get their client the best possible outcome.
4. It's not an either-or choice
If you choose to try an uncontested divorce, you still have the ability to change your mind if you can't come to a mutual agreement.
5. Remember that settlement negotiations often are confidential
Many spouses going through a divorce use the services of a Mediator to help them reach an agreement. A family law Mediator is trained (and certified by the Court) to assist spouses with resolving conflicts. Before you enter into negotiation discussions, remember that most of these discussions are required to remain confidential if the parties do not reach an agreement. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage a free exchange of ideas and proposals for settlement while removing the concern that your settlement proposals may be used against you later in Court.
If you help with an attorney for an uncontested divorce or you just want more information on how the process works and whether it's right for you, contact the experienced Kissimmee, Florida, divorce lawyers at Draper Law Offices at 866.767.4711 for a free, no-obligation consultation.