Ending a marriage is a life-altering transition that could become a lengthy, contentious legal battle if the parties cannot agree on the key issues of the divorce. A quicker, less expensive and more amicable alternative is an uncontested divorce. The parties must be still able to reach an agreement before a divorce will be granted, which makes having the advice and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney crucial.
E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC, a premier family law practice conveniently located in Lithonia, routinely represents clients in uncontested divorces throughout Georgia. We leverage our negotiating skills to help our clients reach agreements on the key issues of the divorce, handle all the necessary court filings, and work to protect our clients’ best interests. If you think that an uncontested divorce is the best option for you, contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree on all issues before any documents, including a Settlement Agreement and a Parenting Plan, are filed with the court. The key issues that must be resolved include:
In short, both spouses must agree on how to divide assets and debts, determine spousal support amounts, and, if minor children are involved, how to share custody and child support:
Marital property — The parties must agree on how to divide property that was acquired during the marriage — real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, and debts — according to Georgia’s rules of equitable distribution. This does not mean the marital property will be split evenly, but rather in a way that is fair and equitable to each party.
Spousal support — Typically referred to as alimony, there are two types of spousal support, temporary and permanent. The former is usually awarded for a short period of time after the divorce is finalized while the latter is granted for an indefinite time period until the receiving spouse is able to earn sufficient income or remarries.
Child custody — The spouses reach an agreement on a parenting plan that must be approved by the court. There are two types of custody: legal custody (each parent’s right to make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, etc.) and physical custody (which determines with whom the child will primarily reside and the other parent’s visitation rights).
Child support — Child support determinations are based on an income shares model that considers the combined income of both parents, the number of children, the cost of child care, medical expenses, educational expenses, extracurricular activities and other factors.
Once the spouses reach an agreement on these issues, the divorce paperwork can be submitted and a judgment of divorce will be granted, often without the spouses having to appear in court.
What are the benefits of an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce has a number of advantages, not the least of which is that it costs much less than litigating the divorce. A contested divorce means paying an attorney for preparing documents, court filings and appearances, phone calls, correspondence and expenses, all of which can become expensive. Additionally, an uncontested divorce is more efficient because reaching a settlement may take a few months, rather than a few years.
The greatest advantage of an uncontested divorce is that it is much less of an emotional challenge for the entire family. If minor children are involved, cooperating during and after the divorce will mitigate the emotional harm to the children typically associated with a marital break up.
Ultimately, the spouses must be able to negotiate agreements on property, support and parenting. This can be challenging even in an uncontested divorce, however, which makes having proper legal representation crucial. If the parties cannot agree on the key issues, the divorce will need to be litigated in a court of law.
Contact Our Dekalb County Uncontested Divorce Attorney
At E.N. Banks-Ware, LLC, we are committed to helping our clients find solutions to their marital issues and guiding them through the uncontested divorce process. We will be your ally as well as your attorney, by providing you with emotional support and first-rate legal representation. Through our many years of practice, we have seen how uncontested divorces help families navigate this difficult transition more amicably, which can help them to move on with their lives and avoid the bitterness that stems from a protracted court battle.
When you become our client, we will take the time to get to know you, understand your unique family circumstances, and work efficiently to reach a fair settlement of your divorce. Our cost-effective legal services will put you in good stead for a brighter future. If you are considering an uncontested divorce, please contact our office today for a free consultation.