Contested and Uncontested Divorce
When a couple is getting a divorce, whether or not their divorce is contested or uncontested will have a significant effect on how the divorce case is handled and proceeds, and may also have a significant impact on the overall outcome of the case. At the law offices of Brown & Gould, PLLC, we have experience representing individuals involved in both contested and uncontested divorces, and will competently aid you in understanding the difference between both divorce case types, as well as what each may mean for you and how you can protect your best interests moving forward.
Uncontested Divorce in Oklahoma City
An uncontested divorce is the fasted type of divorce to obtain, and may be granted in as few as 10 days in what’s known as a waiver divorce procedure, assuming you and your spouse do not have any children together. If you do have children, then the process time is increased to 90 days.
A waiver divorce, or uncontested divorce, is only possible when a couple in a relationship agrees to all of the issues within the dissolution of marriage case, including how property will be divided, whether or not spousal maintenance will be paid, how debts will be split, etc. If there are any outstanding disputes on these issues, the divorce is not uncontested, and cannot proceed as a waiver divorce.
The Benefits of a Waiver Divorce
The two most obvious benefits of an uncontested or waiver divorce are:
- The divorce process is fast – your case will not be drawn out, and you will not have to wait multiple weeks or months to be legally separated from your spouse; and
- Uncontested divorces are cheaper, mitigating expensive lawyer and court fees.
In addition to the above advantages, though, waiver divorces also mean that a couple is in agreement about issues in a divorce, which may mean a more amicable relationship moving forward. While this may not matter for many couples, for those with children, civility is essential.
What Is a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce, on the other hand, is a divorce in which parties to the divorce are not in agreement regarding the terms of the divorce. While couples filing for an uncontested divorce do have the option of reaching an agreement at any point during the divorce process, if an agreement cannot be reached, a court will make decisions regarding issues in the divorce on the couple’s behalf. This can be both frustrating for a couple or individual, as well as expensive. Further, a contested divorce typically takes multiple months’ worth of time to resolve.
Filing for an Uncontested Divorce
If you and your spouse are in agreement about terminating your marriage and how issues in the divorce are to be resolved, you should file an uncontested divorce. The term “waiver” comes from the fact that one of the parties waives the right to receive notice of the lawsuit (petition for divorce) from the other, acknowledging that they have received the documents in a different manner. In most cases, couples will file their paperwork, including any parenting plan or divorce settlement paperwork, together. The party who filed for the divorce will attend a hearing, and then the divorce will be finalized.
If the divorce is contested on the other hand, you will need to make sure that your divorce paperwork is served to your spouse upon being filed. Mediations will then follow, and if a settlement cannot be reached, your case will go to court.
Working with an Attorney when Pursuing a Contested or Uncontested Divorce
If filing for a contested divorce, working with an attorney is absolutely essential. Your attorney will help you to understand Oklahoma’s laws regarding issues like property division and child support, and more importantly, help you to negotiate for a divorce settlement that is fair and protects your interests. If your case were to go to court, your attorney would be responsible for representing you and litigating on your behalf.
However, even if your divorce is uncontested, having an attorney on your side who can review your divorce settlement before it is finalized, and represent you should any issues arise, is important. An attorney should always be involved in any major legal decision.
Contact Our Law Offices Today
Our attorneys know that contested or uncontested, divorce isn’t easy. Whether you and your spouse know how you want to resolve issues in your divorce when you part ways, or if you are undecided and need legal counsel and representation, our team is here to serve you. To schedule a consultation with our Oklahoma City divorce lawyers at the law offices of Brown & Gould, PLLC, please call us directly or send us a message.