What is an Uncontested Divorce: Process, the Pros, and Cons

What is an uncontested divorce? An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties have agreed on all issues relating to the divorce, including child custody (if any), division of property, and alimony.

Once the parties have reached an agreement, they will submit their settlement agreement to the court for approval. If the court approves the agreement, it will issue a divorce decree to finalize the divorce. In most cases, an uncontested divorce can be completed relatively quickly and without going to trial.

However, an uncontested divorce is only possible if both parties involved are willing to come to a resolution through good-faith negotiation. If one party is unwilling or unable to compromise, then an uncontested divorce may not be possible.

This blog post will discuss the process involved and the pros and cons of pursuing an uncontested divorce.

what is an uncontested divorce

What is the process of an uncontested divorce?

The process for an uncontested divorce can be a little different from one state to the next, but the same steps are generally taken.

First, one spouse must file a petition for divorce with the court. Once the petition is filed, the other spouse will be served with divorce papers.

If the two spouses can agree on all terms of the divorce, they can file a joint stipulation with the court. This stipulation will outline their agreed-upon terms and can be signed by both spouses.

Once the stipulation is filed, a hearing will be scheduled, and both spouses can present their cases to the judge. If the judge approves of the terms of the divorce, he or she will sign a decree of dissolution, officially ending the marriage or even deny the divorce and issue marriage counselling.

In some states, couples may bypass the hearing process if they can agree on all terms of their divorce. In these cases, they can simply submit their stipulation and decree of dissolution directly to the judge for approval.

4 Advantages of Uncontested Divorce:

1.  Lower cost:

One of the primary advantages of an uncontested divorce is that it is typically lower in cost than a contested divorce. Contested divorces often require the use of attorneys, which can increase the overall cost of the divorce. In addition, contested divorces often involve more court hearings, which can also add to the cost.

2.  Less stressful:

Another advantage of an uncontested divorce is that it is typically less stressful than a contested divorce. When couples can agree on the terms of their divorce, they often find the process much less stressful than when they are fighting over every issue. Additionally, uncontested divorces usually take less time to finalize than contested divorces.

3.  Better for children:

An uncontested divorce is also often better for children. When parents can agree on the terms of their divorce, they can often make decisions that are in the best interests of their children. Additionally, uncontested divorces often allow children to maintain relationships with both parents after the divorce.

4.  Fewer emotional scars:

Finally, an uncontested divorce typically leaves fewer emotional scars than a contested divorce. When couples can agree on the terms of their divorce, they often find that they can remain friends or at least cordial with one another after the divorce is finalized. This can be beneficial for both parties involved as well as for any children

4 Disadvantages of Uncontested Divorce:

1.  Uncontested divorce can be expensive:

If you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all aspects of your divorce, you may be able to file for an uncontested divorce.

However, even if you can avoid going to court, uncontested divorces can still be expensive. You will likely need to hire an attorney to help you draft and file the necessary paperwork, and you may also need to pay a filing fee.

2.  Uncontested divorce can take time:

Even if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all aspects of your divorce, it can still take several months or even longer to finalize an uncontested divorce.

This is because several steps must be taken for the divorce to be finalized, such as drafting and filing the necessary paperwork, having the paperwork served on your spouse, and waiting for a while before the divorce can become final.

3.  You may need to compromise on some things:

For an uncontested divorce to be successful, both parties must be willing to compromise on some issues. For example, you may need to agree to split assets evenly, even if you believe that you deserve a larger share. Additionally, you may need to agree to joint custody of your children even if you prefer sole custody.

4.  You may not be able to get everything you want:

Even if you can agree with your spouse on all aspects of your divorce, there is no guarantee that you will get everything you want. This is because the court will ultimately decide on all matters related to your divorce, including child custody, property division, and alimony.

How does an uncontested divorce work? If you want to learn more, watch this video:

FAQs on What is an Uncontested Divorce

How long does it take to finalize an uncontested divorce?

Once the paperwork is filed with the court, it usually takes four to six weeks for an uncontested divorce to be finalized in the United States. The process is relatively simple if there are no complications and both parties agree. However, the process can take longer if children are involved or the couple cannot agree on terms.

In some cases, uncontested divorces can be finalized within weeks, but it can also take months or even years if the case is complex. Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to complete an uncontested divorce depends on the specific circumstances of each case.

Do I need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?

If you and your spouse agree on all of the terms of your divorce, then you may be able to file for an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce can often be completed more quickly and cheaply than a contested divorce since it does not require a trial.

However, even in an uncontested divorce, it is essential to have an experienced lawyer on your side. A lawyer can help to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is filed correctly and that you are making decisions in your best interests.

In addition, a lawyer can provide valuable guidance throughout the process, helping to make the experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

How to get an uncontested divorce?

Getting a divorce can be a long and complicated process, especially if you and your spouse cannot agree on the divorce terms. An uncontested divorce is one where you and your spouse can come to an agreement on all of the aspects of the divorce, including child custody, property division, and alimony.

While an uncontested divorce is usually quicker and less expensive than a contested divorce, it can still be a difficult process. The following are some tips on how to get an uncontested divorce:

  • Hire an experienced divorce attorney: A good lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
  • Communicate with your spouse: You and your spouse will need to communicate effectively to come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. This may require compromise from both sides.
  • Be prepared to negotiate: Be willing to compromise on some issues to reach an agreement with your spouse. For example, you may need to give up some of your assets in exchange for custody of your children.
  • Seek counselling: Getting help from a qualified counsellor can assist you in communicating with your spouse and resolving conflict. Counselling can also help you deal with the emotional aspects of getting a divorce.

What’s the difference between the uncontested and contested divorce process?

In a contested divorce, the couple can’t agree on one or more parts of the divorce, such as how to divide their property, who gets custody of the kids, or how much alimony they should pay. As a result, they can refuse the divorce and must go to court and let a judge decide these issues for them.

An uncontested divorce is one in which the spouses can reach an agreement on all aspects of the divorce without going to court. While an uncontested divorce is usually less stressful and more efficient, it’s not always possible for couples to reach an agreement on their own.

When considering divorce, they should understand the difference between these two types of divorce to make the best decision for their particular situation.

Can I file an uncontested divorce myself?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get at our law firm is whether it is possible to file an uncontested divorce without hiring an attorney. While it is technically possible to do so, we generally advise against it.

This is because uncontested divorces can often be complex, and even tiny mistakes can have significant repercussions. For example, if you fail to divide your assets properly, you may find yourself worse off financially than before the divorce.

Additionally, if you have children, you will need to make sure that custody arrangements are made in their best interests. Without legal assistance, it can be difficult to ensure that these matters are dealt with appropriately.

In short, while it is possible to file an uncontested divorce yourself, we recommend that you seek the help of a qualified attorney to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that your rights are protected.


Couples who can agree on the terms of their divorce may get a divorce faster and for less money if they don’t have to go to court through the route of uncontested divorce.

However, it may not be an option for every couple and can result in unfair or incomplete agreements. So, carefully consider the uncontested divorce checklist, including all factors, before deciding if an uncontested divorce is the best option for you.

About Shakir Ahmed

Head of the editorial team. I hold a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from UoL. Written hundreds of articles on divorce, child custody, employment and other human rights law topics for blogs and websites worldwide. Worked 6 years as a relationship development trainer. For any communication regarding any legal matter, please feel free to email me at shakir@lawyersnlaws.com

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