Is an uncontested divorce a good idea for you?

Uncontested divorce may be cost-effective and reduce conflict. Mediation and collaborative law work best if spouses are able to communicate and cooperate.

It is commonly believed that getting a divorce involves a lengthy, expensive court process. Additionally, many people assume that going to court will be contentious and stressful. While it is true that most divorces cause stress, the good news is that not everyone will need to take their disputes to court. There are other options available, which may reduce the cost and length of time that is generally associated with a litigated divorce. These methods are known as uncontested divorce, and they have been effective for many divorcing couples in Illinois and elsewhere.

How does an uncontested divorce work?

When ending a marriage through uncontested means, couples often choose between mediation and collaborative law. Through mediation, spouses work with a neutral third party to resolve their issues. According to the American Bar Association, this person may be a certified mediator or attorney who has experience in mediating disputes.

In collaborative law, each spouse employs his and her own attorney. Everyone signs an agreement not to litigate. Collaborative law may work in much the same manner as mediation, with both parties attempting to communicate and work together with the goal of finding mutually agreeable solutions. Each spouse may also consult with child therapists, financial advisors and other professionals, who may assist in resolving complex disputes.

U.S. News and World Report states that uncontested divorces often cost a fraction of what litigation could cost. Additionally, ending a marriage amicably may dramatically reduce conflict, which can be particularly beneficial if there are parenting disputes and other matters involving children. Uncontested divorce is also private, as opposed to litigation, which is often a matter of public record.

Are you willing to compromise and speak to your ex-spouse with respect?

Uncontested methods work best for those who can see both sides of an issue, be willing to compromise and speak to each other civilly. One payoff of having an uncontested divorce is that each party may learn valuable communication and problem-solving skills, which can later come in useful when co-parenting.

Are there factors that might prevent you and your ex from working together?

In some cases, an uncontested divorce is not advised or even possible. This may be especially true for those who are victims of domestic violence. Substance addiction or alcohol abuse during the marriage are other factors that may complicate an uncontested divorce. If one spouse tries to intimidate the other or if one or both refuse to negotiate or see each other's point of view, litigation may be a better course of action.

Divorce is rarely easy, even when uncontested methods are used. Since each case is different, it is recommended to speak with an experienced Illinois family law attorney to determine the best course of action.