Many marriages end with both parties agreeing that it is time for a divorce. If the couple does not have a lot of assets, no children, and are able to independently provide for themselves, there may not be a lot to do other than agree to go their separate ways. However, even if there is a lot to discuss, agreeing on how to provide for children, property, and other marital assets can avoid a long and costly divorce.
When the spouses agree on how to settle a divorce, the divorce process can be relatively simple and straightforward. Once the court confirms that the spouses meet the legal requirements for a divorce, the judge can sign the orders and the divorce will be finalized. Even if the couple cannot seem to come to an agreement on some issues, solving the dispute before going to court can help avoid any unnecessary expense and delay.
If you have any questions about filing an uncontested divorce or how to resolve any disputes before going to court, contact the Higher Level Legal Law Firm today.
Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
An uncontested divorce is a divorce filing where there is nothing in dispute that the court needs to determine. The primary issues in any divorce or separation, depending on the individuals, include:
If the parties can agree on all the major terms and issues in separating, then they can enter into their own parenting agreement or separation agreement. While anyone can benefit from an uncontested divorce, some couples that are more likely to be able to agree to divorce terms include:
- Shorter marriages without children and without much in marital assets,
- Marriages where the couple wants to remain amicable for the sake of their children, or
- Couples who are in roughly equivalent positions of financial independence.
Resolving Disputes Before Court
If you and your spouse are close to an agreement or cannot resolve some of the issues, there may be other options to resolve those disputes before going to court. Once you decide to let the court handle your disputes, you will be subject to the court's decision and on the court's timeline. Even if you do go to court, the judge may refer you to alternative dispute resolution options like mediation before hearing your case.
Mediation is one of the most common options to resolve family law disputes in a divorce. A 3rd party mediator will work with both parties to help them come to a mutually agreeable solution. Mediation is often faster and less expensive and allows the parties to be creative in their problem-solving. Mediation is also private and the negotiations will not be part of the public court records.
Collaborative divorce is another option for divorcing couples. In collaborative divorce, a diverse group of professionals -- attorneys, financial advisors, mental health professionals -- work together to help you resolve unsettled matters, especially as it pertains to children.
Prenuptial Agreements and Uncontested Divorce
Another way to avoid any disputes in a divorce is to resolve most issues by contract before the couple even gets married. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by individuals in consideration of marriage. The agreement provides for how certain assets, property, and financial responsibilities will be treated in the event of a divorce.
Some issues cannot be resolved with a prenuptial agreement, such as avoiding legal child support obligations. Additionally, if a spouse later challenges a prenuptial agreement, that could also result in litigation. However, the courts will generally uphold voluntary prenuptial agreements.
Uncontested Divorce is Not for Everyone
An uncontested divorce can be faster, easier, and less expensive, but it may not be the right choice for you. In some relationships, one spouse is more outspoken and overbearing. This spouse may bully the other spouse to agree to an uncontested divorce to avoid further disputes. However, if the other spouse is getting taken advantage of in the agreement, that spouse should seek independent legal advice.
Once the divorce papers are signed, that is generally the end of the negotiation. It can be very difficult to go back and undo the divorce petition. Talk to your Missouri divorce lawyer about your divorce, your options, and making sure you do not lose out on your legal rights to property, support, and time with your children.
Divorce Attorney in Raymore, Missouri
If you have any questions about an uncontested divorce, resolving any remaining disputes before going to court, or whether a divorce agreement is in your best interest, talk to your Missouri family lawyer. Your attorney can advise you on the best option for your situation to protect your rights and provide for your children. Contact the Higher Level Legal Law Firm in Raymore online or by calling (816) 331-9968.