Divorce is often a one-two punch for many people who find themselves facing it (or a one-two-three-four-and-so-on punch): first there are the heavy emotional consequences and challenges of breaking up with someone you thought you were going to spend your life with, but second there is the fact that you now have to deal with the confusing state court system, perhaps for the first time in your life. One of the first major questions you should consider – although it may take a while to properly answer – is whether you should pursue an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce in Pennsylvania. Here are a few of the pros and cons to think about it.
Uncontested Divorce Can Be Much Cheaper and Faster
With an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse are basically saying that you are not asking the court to make any decisions for you. Which means that you and your spouse will not be fighting over issues such as alimony (spousal support), property distribution (such as division of businesses, savings accounts, retirement funds, real estate), child support, child custody, visitation, and so on.
Therefore, you also do not need to each hire attorneys to battle it out over these issues, and then spend months in multiple court hearings arguing before a judge. Instead, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can save your assets and obtain a divorce potentially more quickly than in a contested divorce.
Uncontested Divorce Can Lead to a More Amicable Relationship Post-Divorce
Because you and your spouse are not fighting over money and issues with the children, each trying to get more at the other’s expense, you can instead work together to figure out how to move on graciously and amicably.
If kids are not involved, this may be a simple affair, and you may be friends post-divorce or not stay in contact at all. And if kids are involved, this may be all the more reason to work together as you adjust to co-parenting.
You Need to Agree on All Matters With Your Spouse
The most difficult part of an uncontested divorce is coming to an agreement on all of those issues: alimony, property distribution, child support, child custody/visitation, and any other issues. Both spouses should have at least a general sense of their rights and obligations in each of these areas under Pennsylvania law before coming to an agreement, and should not completely surrender those rights just for the sake of agreement and avoiding delay and expense. But, for the most part, most spouses who are willing to give and take with one another can find a way to reach an amicable agreement and obtain the benefits of an uncontested divorce.
A Lawyer Can Draft the Necessary Documents For You
One factor that can be both a pro and a con is that you do not need an attorney to represent you in court, which, again, can save you money on legal bills. But family law attorneys are of course familiar with the processes, procedures, forms, and other matters relevant to the family law court, and can advise you on what to do. A family law attorney can also draft the necessary paperwork for you and your spouse in your uncontested divorce – including the all-important settlement agreement and any other necessary forms – and provide you detailed guidance on how to navigate the court system to obtain your divorce.
Get Help With Your Uncontested PA Divorce Matter Today
At The Martin Law Firm, P.C., our family law team works with men and women across Southeastern Pennsylvania in divorce matters, and we are committed to serving your needs in a compassionate and efficient manner. Call us today for a no-hassle consultation regarding any questions you have about contested or uncontested divorce in Pennsylvania.