When both parties of a marriage agree that a divorce would be the best course of action. It may may be beneficial to file for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce essentially means that both parties have agreed on how assets should be divided, and that there are no disputes within the relationship regarding property, debts, or parental rights. Though uncontested divorces can save both parties time, money and heartache, there are a few general rules that may help to protect your interests along the way.
Hire Your Own Lawyer
Even if there is no current legal dispute in your divorce, retaining a lawyer may be beneficial to make sure all of your assets and interests are protected. If only one lawyer represents both you and your spouse, a conflict of interest may arise if you or your spouse decide to contest a part of the divorce later in the process. By having your own lawyer, not only could avoid a problem with a future conflict of interest, but your own lawyer may also discover a hidden asset or debt that would not otherwise been revealed to you.
Be Wary When Dividing Property and Debts
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to how assets and debts are split between the two. However, sometimes assets and debts are hidden during a divorce and may lead to an unfair division of property or financial responsibility. For example, if your spouse took a number of loans before your divorce, it’s possible that a divorce court will require you to pay a portion of those loans. Likewise, sometimes the true value of property may not be known to one or either parties until appraisal, which is why it is wise to thoroughly appraise and consider each asset in a divorce.
Divorce Laws Vary by State
In certain “no-fault” states such as California, assets and debts are almost always split down the middle for each party. Every state has different laws regarding how divorce is handled as well as parental rights and asset division. A reliable divorce lawyer should give you all the legal knowledge needed to have a fair divorce, but researching and investigating the circumstances of your separation would be wise. This means that you should understand the factors leading to your divorce, and the legal options that you have.
Consider Mediation if Necessary
The trick to making uncontested divorces quick and inexpensive is by making sure that both parties agree to the terms of the asset division. If issues occur, hiring a third person mediator could help resolve these issues and continue progress toward a smooth divorce. Hiring a mediator may be expensive, but in the long run it will likely save on money and headaches.
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