There are seven types of divorce categorized as either fault or no-fault divorce. The uncontested divorce is most popular, especially in the United States, where 95 percent of divorces are settled without contest. This does not mean the couple settles all issues between the two of them. They usually hire divorce lawyers to work out the details to avoid unnecessary conflict and trauma. Uncontested simply means that the decision on the details of the divorce is ironed out between the couple, not by the courts.
Military, mediated, and collaborative divorces are considered uncontested, although this is not a hard and fast rule. There are exemptions, however. In a divorce proceeding that is termed as uncontested, there are two scenarios:
- The couple agrees on every issue.
- One spouse refuses to participate and fails to show up in divorce court to contest the divorce.
Can I Represent Myself in an Uncontested Divorce?
It would depend on the location where you plan to file for divorce. In the United States, some states, like California and Florida, are seeing more people representing themselves. These are called “pro se” divorce cases.
There are many cases when a person files for a divorce expecting the other party to not contest. If this happens, proceeding without an attorney is risky but still an option available to you.
In the United States, there are divorce documents, also known as packets, which are preset forms that you can download and use for processing your divorce. Not everyone can use a divorce packet since it is for uncontested divorce proceedings. It covers what you need to have to file and process your divorce without an attorney.
There are disadvantages to divorce packets, like not having personal legal advice in the event that the case becomes complicated. Packets are also state-specific, which means you will have to get your packets locally. You will also have to decide on the following as a couple divorcing:
- Division of Property Acquired After the Marriage
- Debt Liability
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Insurance Benefits
- Enforcement of the Terms of the Divorce Agreement
One way to protect your rights when filing for divorce and expecting it to be uncontested is to approach your local bar association. There are divorce attorneys willing to dispense with legal advice for a minimal charge or possibly without charge. You must be eligible, however, to receive the free legal advice.
Finally, read the laws on divorce, child support, and division of assets and liabilities before appearing in court. This will help in avoiding delays and complications.