If you are thinking about ending your marriage, there are many ways to get a divorce in Washington. Today, uncontested divorces are becoming more popular due to the vast number of benefits they hold. One of the biggest benefits of uncontested divorces is that they are much cheaper than contested cases. If you and your spouse can agree to all the terms of the divorce, it will only cost you between $500 and $700, which includes the court filing fee. This is much more affordable than getting a contested divorce, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
All divorces in Washington are considered no-fault, but this is not the same as uncontested. A no-fault divorce is one in which neither spouse accuses the other of being at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Still, no fault divorces can be contested if the spouses do not agree to any term of the divorce. For example, a spouse may file for divorce and agree to all the terms except for the division of parenting time and responsibilities. In this case, the divorce would become contested.
In order to get an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree to all terms, including:
- The division of assets and liabilities, such as debt
- Child custody, including the parenting plan that assigns parenting time and responsibilities
- Child support
- The amount and duration of alimony
If you and your spouse can agree to all terms of the divorce, a divorce settlement agreement will be drafted outlining the arrangements made. You must file this agreement with the court and if it is fair, a judge will approve it and the divorce will be final.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Obtain an Uncontested Divorce?
It is true that obtaining an uncontested divorce is much more affordable, and much quicker than contested proceedings. However, this does not mean that you should not work with an attorney when going through your case. A lawyer will make sure that your rights are protected and that you do not sign them in your agreement. Without legal representation, you will also have to make sure you fill out all the paperwork accurately, and that you file it with the proper courthouse.
When obtaining an uncontested divorce, certain state laws will still apply to your case. For example, you will have to meet the residency requirement and fulfill the 90-day waiting period. Even if you are getting an uncontested divorce, your case cannot be finalized before 90 days have passed. This is also known as the cooling off period.
Our Family Lawyer in University Place Can Help with Your Uncontested Divorce
Getting an uncontested divorce is one of the simplest ways to end your marriage, but you should still work with a University Place family lawyer. At Alliance Law Group, our University Place family lawyer can help you through the process and ensure no mistakes are made so you can move on in your life as soon as possible. Call us now at 253-581-0660 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.