Uncontested divorce – When not to agree to one
In an uncontested divorce, couples agree amongst themselves, without the help of the court, the important issues regarding their future with each other.
These issues may include but are not limited to child custody, child or spouse maintenance, and property issues.
An uncontested divorce is a simpler way of divorcing your partner than the usual divorce proceedings wherein court and solicitors are involved.
For this reason, uncontested divorces are also a cheaper option because not only do you end up saving time and energy, you also save on your lawyers fee.
Uncontested divorce allows the couples to maintain their dignity without engaging in revengeful courtroom battles.
The level of conflict in an uncontested divorce is much lower than contested divorce because of the mutual understanding of the couples.
This makes uncontested divorces far simpler than the usual divorce cases.
Can an Uncontested Divorce ever be a Bad Idea?
While uncontested divorces provide an excellent opportunity to the couples to solve their issues as well as their conflicts internally, it may not always be a good idea to opt for an uncontested divorce.
Uncontested divorce works best if both the partners have kept the bitterness associated with the divorce aside and can think practically and rationally about the post-divorce issues.
In addition, the couples should acknowledge each others comfort levels as well as be able to negotiate fairly with each other. In our following section, we will explore in detail the situations where opting for an uncontested divorce may not be the best option.
* Physical Violence or Intimidation Involved in the Relationship – Abusive marriages hardly ever give the opportunity to the victim to express himself or herself independently without feeling threatened.
If the abuse is physical in nature, it can be extremely difficult to discuss anything with your partner, leave aside a major issue such as divorce.
Physical violence and the threat of physical violence can cloud the victims judgement and he or she may be forced to accept terms and conditions that may not be acceptable to him or her.
Abusive partner can take advantage of an uncontested divorce to reach a divorce agreement for his or her sole benefit. If there is intimidation involved in your relationship, it may be impossible for you to negotiate with your partner on equal terms because of the constant fear that may engulf your mind.
Such can be the mental agony for the victims that usually agree to any post-divorce agreement so that the settlement is over and done with.
However, it is important to remember that while you may have made a hasty decision and entered into a marriage with an abusive partner, now is not the time to make hasty decisions.
Decisions relating to divorce can affect you for the rest of your life, especially the decisions related to finances and children. Therefore, if you are a victim of an abusive or intimidating marriage, seek the help of a competent divorce lawyer.
* If Your Partner Refuses to Talk to You – If your partner does not want to talk to you or discuss issues pertaining to divorce, it can be hard to reach mutual consensus on issues.
Your partner may be trying to avoid talking to about these issues so that you would not think about divorce seriously or he or she may not want to talk about these issues due to some other reason.
Either way, it is important that both of you discuss important issues related to divorce if you want an uncontested divorce to work effectively. If not, you will have to opt for the traditional courtroom divorce.
* Legal Issues – While an uncontested divorce is a cheap and simple option, it is important for you and your partner to understand the legal ramifications associated with a divorce.
Divorce can be a complicated legal procedure wherein you will need to know about the legal nuances. Financial settlement and child custody issues can be extremely complicated.
Reaching an agreement without knowing the legal consequences can have a devastating effect on your future. Any ignorance on your part can affect you and your partner negatively for the rest of your lives.
* Emotional Blackmail – If you think your partner is emotionally stronger and is steamrolling you through the whole process and you may be emotionally blackmailed to come to an agreement that you do not want, it may not be a good idea to not opt for an uncontested divorce.
Decisions pertaining to divorce can have life-changing consequences and no agreement should be reached under any pressure.
Therefore, it would be best if you hire a lawyer to understand your legal rights and options.