Uncontested Divorce — What Do You Need to Agree On?
While a marriage may end in divorce, it does not have to end in destruction and devastation of finances and feelings. One of the best ways to save yourself from the financial and emotional toll of divorce is to try for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce, also known as administrative dissolution, allows you and your spouse to avoid the time consuming and expensive process of divorce litigation. It involves coming to an agreement on all essential terms of a divorce. Because you and your spouse agree to the main terms of the divorce, there is no need to go to court and argue over everything. Reaching an agreement on your own can be essential in preserving any sort of amicable relationship which is especially important if there are children of the marriage. Many find it difficult to effectively co-parent with a former spouse after a hotly contested divorce battle. Find out what needs to be done to achieve an uncontested divorce and how you and your spouse can work towards it together.
The Key to an Uncontested Divorce
In order to be eligible to file for an uncontested divorce, you will have to reach an agreement with your spouse on all essential terms of the divorce. If agreement is reached, you can likely be awarded an administrative dissolution and never need to step foot in a court room. This includes:
- Spousal maintenance (also referred to as “alimony”)
- Equitable division of marital assets and debts
- Tax deductions and income tax exemptions
- Attorneys fees and costs (if applicable)
If there are children resulting from the marriage, you must also come to an agreement on:
- Child support: The divorce agreement must outline basic child support as well as medical support. Medical support will include health and dental insurance as well as medical expenses for the children that may not be covered by insurance. If paying for childcare will also be necessary, the agreement will need to address who will be covering childcare costs or how they will be shared.
- Parenting time: Parenting time is one of the most personal aspects of divorce as it relates to the very essence of the family structure. A parenting time schedule will involve establishing who has physical custody of any children resulting from the marriage. It will include who will be spending time with the kids and when. While sometimes difficult to agree on, coming to a mutually acceptable parenting time arrangement can form the cornerstone for a positive co-parenting relationship after the divorce is finalized.
- Decision-making: You will have to agree on who will be responsible for the major decisions for the children in the areas of education, medical/health and religion. These are most often shared between parents, known as "joint legal custody" but sometimes parents agree to have one parent take the lead on these decisions or one category of decisions.
A positive co-parenting relationship will prove invaluable as it will provide ongoing benefits for your children and for you in your co-parenting journey.
For a court to sign-off and give final approval of the divorce agreement, the agreement must include all of the above terms. Both spouses must have entered into the agreement of their own free will and with full understanding of the terms of the agreement.
Legal Representation in Minnesota Uncontested Divorces
It is always a good idea to have legal representation when divorcing. It is good to have someone talk through the options with you ad make sure you fully understand the legal implications of decisions made in divorce.
If you do not have minor children, an administrative dissolution (where the court signs off on the divorce without the parties ever going to court) can be without attorneys or with both of you having individual legal representation. A court will also review your divorce petition without going to court, if only one of you has an attorney and the other party is unrepresented.
If you have minor children, you can only obtain an uncontested divorce, without having a court hearing, if you are both represented by legal counsel. The process can still be streamlined, amicable, and cooperative, but you will both need representation if you want to avoid a court hearing.
Avoid Emotional and Financial Expenses with an Uncontested Divorce
Divorce is sometimes what is best for you and what is best for your family. If you and your spouse can find a way to work together in pursuit of this better situation, you can save a great deal of time, money, and emotional damage for all involved. Twin Cities divorce professional Kimberly Miller will work closely with you to successfully achieve an uncontested divorce. Kimberly provides unparalleled client support in what can be a difficult time for a family.