Uncontested Divorce Proceedings in California
An uncontested divorce is a divorce where the parties agree to the terms of the judgment even before the divorce paperwork is filed. The advantage of an uncontested divorce is that the parties can avoid litigation; neither party ever appears in court, and because there is no litigation, the cost of an uncontested divorce is substantially less. The disadvantage of an uncontested divorce is that it requires each party to compromise. In order to obtain a settlement, each party must be flexible and make realistic demands from the other party.
An uncontested divorce is not appropriate for everyone. If you have a large estate, complicated legal issues, have an unreasonable spouse, or you are a victim of domestic violence, an uncontested divorce is not for you. In order to qualify for an uncontested divorce, the parties must agree on all the terms of the divorce. This includes agreeing on entirely on each of the following issues: child support, spousal support, child custody, child visitation, attorney fees, division of property and division of debts.
The parties' agreement need not be in writing. It is the job of the attorney to write up and finalize the uncontested divorce paperwork. The divorce attorney will also gather the information to file the initial paperwork, all the paperwork required for disclosures, and the terms of the divorce judgment. The attorney will file the divorce papers, serve the divorce papers on the other party, prepare the divorce judgment, arrange for both parties to sign the documents, and then file them with the court. Since the divorce papers are all prepared in the office and then filed with the family law court, there is no reason for either party to ever set foot in court.