Uncontested Divorce

If you decided to divorce and both spouses agree amicably regarding the terms,  you can proceed on the basis of an uncontested divorce. Obviously, it is much easier and less expensive.

What are the conditions for filing an uncontested divorce?

Basically, if both spouses agree to the same terms and both approve the same court filings, it will be receivable. The filings must at least cover the following important issues:

  1. Property division
  2. Child custody
  3. Support arrangements for both the children and spouse if applicable.
Benefits and Disadvantages

Benefits are numerous:

  • Time saver: faster process and much less demanding of personal time of the spouses.
  • money saver: costs of procedures, filings, attorneys, lawyers and court.
  • minimized conflicts: above what is already agreed, usually, what comes up during the process get quickly resolved with a much less emotional reaction of the spouses.
  • more private: much less information is filed in the public record and will not become available to the general public.

Disadvantages are usually related to an insufficient analysis of future consequences of some decision. Usually, it concerns the main questions mentioned above:

  • proper property division when there are many and it has some complexity,
  • child custody not covering well some upcoming changes like a spouse moving or schooling,
  • support arrangements that will need to change with time, etc.
Not available

In some state, if there are children involved you can’t file for an uncontested divorce. These states consider that the importance of legal rights of the child requires a more detailed planning and a regular divorce procedure is mandatory.

Waiting period

In the case of a self-service and uncontested divorce filing, there is usually a waiting period and a requisite separation. It might be as much as two years. This is to ensure that no spouse find information or for any other reasons would like to change his/her mind about the divorce. It also includes deciding not to divorce. Or, one spouse has been pressured by the other to avoid lawyers and proceed this way. As you can guest it probably is to his advantage. Which brings up the next subject.

When not to divorce amicably

Do not accept to proceed this way if:

  • you feel you are being pressured.
  • you being threaten.
  • If you think that you are not getting a fair share of assets, child support or visit rights.
  • have been suffering from domestic violence.
  • if the other spouse is reluctant and give you feedback that he/she wants a lawyer.
  • if one spouse is very greedy and you know in advance that agreements will be broken.
Court Approval

The final divorce is subject to the court’s approval. Consequently, it isn’t because you signed everything that you are divorced. The process requires that you receive the seal of approval from the court.

It usually takes six to 10 weeks after the documents are filed with the court.

The Process

The process is simplify compared to a contested divorce. It varies per state. You may have to:

  • file a request for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage;
  • you may have to serve your spouse with a registered divorce request;
  • your spouse might have to officially respond to your request;
  • your spouse may have to file a response;
  • wait for a period of time;
  • prepare a Divorce Agreement;
  • arrange for a court hearing;
  • you may have to show up to a judge;
  • the judge may decide that your agreement ins not fair enough;
  • etc.

Many spouses choose to get the assistance of a divorce lawyer to avoid pitfalls and help themselves do it right.


Ideally, ask people you trust that actually used such an approach before you. It usually is better to get referrals when choosing a lawyer for such an important issue.

You have to understand that the court takes very seriously any matter related to a divorce. The baseline is that there is an underline conflict. Consequently, they usually consider an uncontested divorce subject to scrutiny if there is only one lawyer involved. Humanly and legally, one lawyer will take part to one spouse. If you go that route, it is strongly recommended that the divorce lawyer represents the weak spouse of the parties: the one with the least financial resources, etc. It helps support the demonstration that everything has been covered properly. In some states, it even is a requirement.

You can use the following serch box.

Example of search

¨Uncontested Divorce lawyer Ohio¨