What Is An Uncontested Divorce?

By Divorce Matters Attorney Ashley Balicki

Uncontested Divorce: This is when the parties have an agreement as to all issues in the divorce, including but not limited to: division of property, maintenance, parental responsibilities, and child support. In these cases the attorney can only represent one party but can draft all of the necessary documents to initiate and/or finalize the divorce. This is very common in the family law practice.

  • The parties do not have any disagreements but need someone to draft the necessary paperwork to initiate and finalize a divorce;
  • Only one party may be present for the initial consultation and only one party may hire the attorney (the attorney cannot represent both parties due to the ethical rules);
  • After one party retains the attorney can then speak to and meet with both parties simultaneously in order to draft a Separation Agreement;
    The attorney can only provide legal advice to the spouse that is his or her client and cannot provide legal advice to the other spouse.

Questions to ask:
Is either party represented by an attorney?
Has anything been filed?
Is there a full agreement as to all issues?

If you think your divorce will be uncontested, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure you understand all aspects of a divorce. Contact us if you have any questions.

Do I Need A Lawyer For An Uncontested Divorce?

Divorce by nature can be a contentious process. It is the end of a marriage, after all, and it is normal for negative emotions to fly. But not every divorce ends in anger and argument. In some cases, divorce can be done amicably, and it’s great if that happens. However, just because both parties are in agreement on how to move forward with a divorce does not mean that an attorney is completely unnecessary. In fact, if you don’t have an attorney, issues that arise during what was meant to be an uncontested divorce can easily turn the divorce sour.

The Problem With Divorce Pro Se

When you file for divorce without an attorney, we say you are representing yourself “pro se.” You can file the paperwork on your own and there are a ton of guides on the Internet on how to do it successfully. However, even if you are representing yourself in your divorce, you should still speak to an attorney. Why?

Because of the potential for costly mistakes. Family law is complicated. The more money and property you have, and any kids you have, amplify the need for an attorney. It is so easy to miss something teeny tiny and have that omission snowball into an expensive legal battle with your ex-spouse in the future.

Here’s an example: let’s say you and your spouse own investment property together. In your DIY divorce, the property slips your minds and you fail to address the issues of ownership of that property. Now, something goes wrong with the property, and you want to repair it, but your ex (who still owns the property too) decides the property should be sold. Neither party is in agreement; the argument escalates and escalates and suddenly, you’re on the opposite side of a courtroom paying oodles of legal fees trying to resolve the property issue. If you had spoken to an attorney before your pro se divorce, the property issue could have been resolved before the problem ever came up.

Our Denver divorce attorneys will work with you to ensure that no aspect of your divorce is ignored.