When it comes to an uncontested divorce, both spouses are in complete agreement on each point and problem related to divorce. Every state requires the spouses to fulfil some conditions for an uncontested divorce. For example, they are obliged to meet the waiting period and residency requirement in the state where they have filed a divorce case. This is important before any of the spouses can ask the judge for divorce finalization. You need to have a signed and finally prepared divorce settlement agreement that properly addresses every issue pertinent to your case:
- Division of debt and marital property
- Allocation of parenting time and child custody
- Alimony (known as spousal maintenance or support)
- Child support
- Whether one spouse intends to use a maiden name, and
- Any other issues having relevance to the couple and/or in the case
Procedures of Uncontested Divorce
The initial step of an uncontested divorce process is to talk to your spouse. As a part of the uncontested divorce process, you should agree with your spouse on all the terms and conditions of the divorce. You can proceed alone or get the help of an experienced divorce lawyer in Galveston.
You might think that hiring a divorce lawyer will be a waste of money and time as both of you agree on every single point. However, the reality is pole opposite to what you think. It makes sense to consult a divorce attorney before proceeding and signing the proposed divorce settlement agreement as that will ensure protection of your rights.
You need to start with filing an ‘Uncontested Divorce’ petition with your local court. You have to pay a fee for petition filing. For anyone not able to afford the payment, most jurisdictions allow the petitioner to request the court for waive fee. In that case, the courts in some states, will ask the petitioners to submit other documents.
Uncontested divorce process varies from one state to another. However, in every state, you have to submit the necessary documents, which include the proper forms, documents and the settlement agreement that carries your signature, to the court. Once all the documents are submitted, you have to wait for a certain period (also called waiting period) to expire. The waiting period also varies across the states. You can check with the local court to learn if the mandatory divorce waiting period is waived for uncontested divorce.
The court will review your paperwork to figure out if you meet all the state requirements. If everything is fine, the court will set up a final hearing before a judge and a judge will put his/her signature to the judgment of divorce without any hearing.
If you have to attend a hearing, get ready to answer a few formal questions from the judge. The court, through the haring, makes sure that you meet the divorce requirements of your state and both of you willingly agree to the terms of the settlement. The judge will hear your answers to the court’s questions and sign the final divorce judgment.