Can I Get a Divorce Without Going to Court?

finalized divorce decree

Getting a divorce can be stressful enough without having to deal with court dates and expensive litigation. Many of our clients ask us if it is possible to get a divorce without going to court. The answer is yes, but there are some things that you have to know before you can decide whether this method of divorce is right for you. Here is what a Tazewell County uncontested divorce lawyer will tell you.

What Are My Options If I Do Not Want to Go to Divorce Court?

For the sake of simplicity, we can break divorce down into two different categories. You can have a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. The uncontested divorce is quicker and does not require you to spend a lot of time in court. You may have to attend a final hearing that certifies your divorce agreement, but that is it.

As the name implies, in an uncontested divorce a couple has agreed on the terms of their divorce. This means that you have to come together on many different topics, some of which can be difficult for a divorcing couple to discuss. You have to be able to talk to your partner about:

  • The division of property, assets, and debt
  • Child support
  • Child visitation and custody
  • Alimony
  • Pet custody

Sometimes it can be difficult for divorcing couples to discuss all of these topics. This is when a mediator, a neutral third party who sits in on the negotiations, could be helpful. If you and your spouse still cannot come to an agreement on all of these issues, you are probably going to have to go to court.

When Are These Not the Best Options for a Divorcing Couple?

Unfortunately, uncontested divorce and mediation are not always good fits for every couple. It can be difficult for couples to negotiate when:

  • There is a history of abuse
  • Either or both of you have a hard time keeping things civil
  • There is a big power imbalance in the relationship

Do I Need a Divorce Attorney If I Don’t Plan to Go to Court?

You can still benefit from the assistance of a seasoned family law attorney even if you pursue an uncontested divorce and try to avoid spending a ton of time in court. A lawyer can answer any questions that you might have during this process and they can help you with any of the required paperwork. They can also offer you advice on how to fairly divide up assets. If you and your spouse have a lot of different assets to sort through, like retirement and investment accounts, this can be a good way to make sure that everything is divided up equitably.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are getting a divorce and you want to be sure that you have properly explored all of your options, please contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. We can set up a consultation and tell you more about how our legal team can help you.

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