An uncontested divorce is one where both parties come to a complete agreement prior to the filing of the divorce with the court. If both parties agree on all issues, it can save the parties money, emotional stress, and future abilities to communicate, which can be important if children are involved. If the parties disagree on any one issue, the divorce is contested.
While one attorney can not represent both parties, in an uncontested divorce, our attorneys will draft the legal documents in accordance with the parties' agreement. The attorney represents the plaintiff and can advise him/her, but the parties work out an agreement on their own.
We have a divorce worksheet to assist in the process. After an agreement is reached, both parties should initial each page and sign the last. While this is not a legal document that will be used, it indicates whether or not both parties will be willing to sign. It is very important that both parties are in agreement. If either party refuses to sign, there is no way to force an uncontested divorce. The divorce would then be contested. Because the attorney has set aside time for the case and/or begun work, the fee is considered to be earned and will not be returned. This means if someone pays for an uncontested divorce and either party refuses to sign, the money will be lost. For that reason, if either party refuses to sign the worksheet, we would not recommend moving forward, as this indicates that that party would not sign an uncontested divorce.