Lower Drama. Lower Stress.
An uncontested divorce occurs when the parties are able to reach agreements among themselves regarding the division of their debts and assets – and when there are children involved, they are also able to decide upon child rearing and support arrangements. In these circumstances, a divorce can be obtained with very limited court involvement (it is not possible in the State of Texas to obtain a divorce with absolutely no court involvement.)
In an uncontested divorce, minimum court involvement can be generally summarized as follows:
- One of the spouses must file a petition for divorce and pay the court filing fees.
- The other spouse signs a waiver of service (this waiver is only as to formal service of the divorce petition by a process server – it does not waive any other rights), which is also filed with the court.
- A mandatory 60-day waiting period is observed, during which time the court cannot finalize the divorce. The spouses and the attorney(s) generally use this period to prepare the final decree of divorce and other legal paperwork necessary to complete the divorce process.
- After the waiting period and once all of the paperwork is completed and agreed upon, there is a very short hearing (at which one spouse must be present) for the court to approve the final decree and grant the divorce.
The ability of a divorcing couple to make agreements between themselves about finances, property and children not only shortens the legal process, it also reduces legal fees. Where possible, we strive to offer flat fee and hybrid flat-hourly fee structures in uncontested divorces.
In our considerable experience, a few couples are able to reach all of their agreements and approve their paperwork during the 60-day waiting period. However, we find that most couples need a little longer to work through the process (e.g. research and discuss options, split financial accounts, find new housing).
On average, the uncontested divorce process takes approximately 3 to 9 months to complete (from filing to final court approval). Individual factors can shorten or lengthen that time estimate.
Our fee structures in uncontested divorces depend upon the facts of your situation (e.g. number and size of debts and assets, whether children are involved) and the nature of the agreements which have been reached (or not fully reached).
Contact our firm to discuss your needs, and we will structure a plan suited to you.