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Guide To File An Uncontested Divorce

Divorce is never easy. They occur when there is an unresolvable argument, a lot of recrimination, and abuse. But, you can avoid all the bickering and end your marriage peacefully. How? If you and your partner are thinking about getting a divorce and want the process to be as simple as possible, you can read below on how to get an uncontested divorce. Knoxville divorce attorney has provided all the details right from filing of legal forms to finalizing your case efficiently-

Uncontested Divorce – What does it mean?

As per the recent surveys, we found out that almost 90% of the divorce cases in America are now settled outside the court. But, the proper definition of the term “uncontested divorce” is not understood fully. The divorce process is never easy. It takes a huge toll on the couple involved both physically and mentally. It is so much more than the dramatic litigation in the courtroom, lawyers engaged in heated debates and past scandals being exposed – as shown in many movies.

In reality, you can refrain from making the divorce process less dramatic. The process can be simpler if you and your spouse agree on the maximum terms of the case. This also includes the splitting of assets, custody of your child or children (if you have any), payment of spousal support, etc. You can ask your divorce lawyer to draft an agreement and ask for the approval of the court instead of a judge deciding your fate. Once the terms of the case have been decided, you can end your marriage peacefully, without any bitter conflicts or expensive legal fees.

An uncontested or no-contest divorce can be the best way to make the process stress-free and simple if you and your spouse peacefully agree on all terms.

How does the uncontested divorce process work – an overview

Divorce Petition –

Apart from the specifications of each case, to start with the uncontested divorce procedure, one spouse files the initial petition of the documents with the local court. The spouse filing the divorce is called the Petitioner or a Plaintiff. And the document filed is called a divorce Petition or a Joint Petition.

The above procedure can also be done with the help of divorce lawyers in Knoxville. Through this petition, you will inform the court of the filing spouse’s wish to terminate the marriage. The petition includes general information like the party’s name, their date of marriage, and separation date. It also has all the information related to the finances, assets, debt, child’s custody, and how other terms of the divorce should be handled. The petition will also mention the grounds for the divorce and why the marriage ends.

What are the grounds for a divorce?

They are divided into two types –

  • Fault
  • No-fault

If one of the spouses was at fault for the marriage to end, and the one filing for divorce wishes to assign the blame, he or she can include a fault-based ground for the divorce in their petition. These fault-based grounds vary from state to state but usually include the actions like domestic violence, drunkenness, drug abuse, incompetence, or adultery.

Evidence will be required by the court when filing for a fault-based divorce to provide pieces of evidence. Sometimes, a witness will also be needed to find out what went wrong. Filing a divorce based on fault will make the entire process a disputed one.

No-fault ground for divorce gives the couples a chance to end their marriage in a civilized manner. In such a case, no one is blamed for the divorce and no harsh feelings or wrongdoings are involved. Your Knoxville divorce attorney will brief you about the entire process beforehand. But, we get this question a lot of times – what is the most common no-fault ground? The answer to that is – Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, also known as irreconcilable differences. To explain it in simpler terms, it means that the spouses no longer get along with each other and there is no hope for reconciliation.

A no-fault divorce ends up being either contested or uncontested based on how the responding spouse responds to the case. It is also decided based on the agreement of the parties on all the issues listed in the divorce. Generally, all states recognize no-fault grounds and a lot of couples consider this option.

How to file for an Uncontested Divorce?

Uncontested Divorce forms – These divorce papers are similar to the forms of a contested case, with minute differences. In a contested divorce, there are more forms because the spouses will be going to court for their hearings or trials. To file a divorce, the forms that will be required by the couple depends on many things like –

  • Unique circumstances of the case
  • If the parties will ask the court for a fee waiver
  • The case is addressed within a framework of the MSRRA (Military Spouses Residency Relief Act)
  • The state or the county of residence
  • The spouses have children or not
  • The spouses have marital property
  • The kind of service used for the court papers
  • If either party will seek alimony

The spouse that is filing the divorce will fill out the initial forms that include the petition, the summons, and a case-specific cover sheet. The forms usually vary by state and county

As soon as the initial forms are filed with the local court, and the filing fees are paid, the court will declare and stamp the forms as received and a case number will be issued. After the documents are filed with the court, the filing spouse will serve these documents to the other spouse, who is known as the defendant or the respondent. The service rules can differ but are usually done by a process server or someone not involved in the case. He or she needs to be over the age of 21. In some states, the spouse can file for the divorce jointly as co-petitioners so that they can skip the “service of process” stage for getting an uncontested divorce.

Do you need a divorce attorney to file an uncontested divorce?

A divorce procedure involves high legal fees and delays in getting a court hearing. But, with an uncontested divorce, the process can be pretty quick. The benefit of an uncontested divorce is that it saves you from a lot of stress and exorbitant legal fees.

If you are filing an uncontested divorce, it can be a good idea to hire a Knoxville divorce attorney. The divorce lawyer will check your marital settlement agreement to make sure that it is fair to you and your spouse and is not one-sided. Similarly, your spouse should also hire an attorney to review their agreement. Since one attorney cannot represent you both, you will need separate attorneys. 

If you are going through a divorce and want to end things without legal stress an uncontested divorce procedure is your best option. Contact Knoxville divorce attorney to know more about it in detail.

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