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Uncontested Divorce

Bedford Divorce Attorney :: Fort Worth Divorce Attorney :: Dallas Divorce Attorney :: QDRO Lawyer
  • No Kids|No Real Estate
  • $ 500 /Flat Fee
    • No children and no real estate
    • All paperwork and hearings included
    • Filing fees not included
  • Kids or Real Estate
  • $ 700 /Flat Fee
    • Children or Real Estate
    • All paperwork and hearings included
    • Filing fees not included
  • Kids and Real Estate
  • $ 900 /Flat Fee
    • Children and Real Estate
    • All paperwork and hearings included
    • Filing fees not included

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties have reached an agreement on the important issues in the divorce and are looking for help maneuvering the legal process for divorce and need help drafting the necessary documents to preserve the agreement. It is a low cost divorce option for the parties because it avoids the conflict in a divorce that often drives up the price of getting a divorce in Texas. As an uncontested divorce attorney I help clients with uncontested divorces in Tarrant County, Dallas County and Denton County on a reasonable flat fee basis.

An uncontested divorce is a great option for many people who have simple issues and moderate assets if the spouses can reach a fair and voluntary agreement. Sometimes an uncontested divorce is not a great fit because there are complicated assets (or debts) or particular child issues that need more involvement and foresight by an attorney who can advise on the best way to deal with these challenges. These issues can be addressed with a more involved process but not a dragged out, knock out kind of divorce that costs an arm and a leg and leaves everybody angry. These are usually just not good candidates for uncontested divorce where the parties lack the financial expertise to fairly value the property or have the experience crafting custody arrangements to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of the children. However, if you can reach a fair agreement then a flat fee uncontested divorce may be right for you.

Before committing to either path you should consider the issues involved in your divorce and your ability to reach an agreement on them. Here are some posts from my blog that may help you in that process:

The Uncontested Divorce Process

Here are generally the steps involved in an uncontested divorce:

1. We will meet to discuss your divorce and divorce agreement and enter into our own agreement for legal services.
2. I will file a petition for divorce with the appropriate court asking the court to grant your divorce. This begins a sixty day waiting period for divorce in Texas.

3. I will work with your spouse to obtain a waiver of service to file with the court to avoid having to pay the costs to serve your spouse with the divorce petition. (If your spouse refuses to sign a waiver of service then he or she must be served and that will add an additional expense to your divorce.)

4. I will draft a divorce decree on the basis of your agreement.

5. We will work together to ensure the proposed divorce decree aligns with the agreement.

6. Once we have a proposed divorce decree and the sixty day waiting period is over we will go to court and attend a brief hearing called a “prove up” and ask the judge to sign the decree. Once the judge signs the decree you are divorced.

Is an Uncontested Divorce Right for You?

1. Do the spouses have the ability and desire to work together?

If there is a hostile relationship between the spouses or a lack of desire to cooperate in the divorce then it is nearly impossible to proceed with an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce requires the parties be able to sit down together and work out the terms of the divorce. That’s difficult to do if the parties cannot sit down together and have a conversation without fighting.

2. Do you understand all of the issues involved with your children?

Before you can design the co-parenting relationship after the divorce you must understand all the issues involved with your children. These might include complicated issues like medical conditions or special educational needs down to less complicated issues like how to coordinate extracurricular activity schedules.

3. Are both of you willing to do what is in the best interests of your children?

One of the problems that often arises in a divorce is that some parents want to arrange the children’s lives around their own for their own purposes rather than think about what is best for the children. If the spouses have different priorities over the kids then it can be very difficult to reach an agreement that is fair and in the best interests of the children.

4. Are you aware of and understand the assets and debts involved in the divorce?

Another major problem in divorces is when the spouses are not aware of or do not understand the assets controlled by the other spouse and how the marital debts affect those assets. Sometimes this happens because one spouse does not have information on retirement plans in the other spouse’s name or because business ownership is involved. Not understanding both the assets and debts can result in an agreement that looks fair on paper but actually is much less fair. Unfortunately once the divorce is granted there is minimal opportunity to fix a property issue that is later discovered.

5. Can the parties reach a voluntary agreement?

Sometimes in a divorce one spouse will try to coerce the other side into accepting a divorce agreement through unfair or even unlawful means. (This is especially problematic when domestic violence is involved.) When one side tries to force an agreement through these actions it usually means the agreement is not truly voluntary which in turn means it is probably not fair. If the agreement is not fair to you then it is probably not in your best interests.

6. Will the agreement cover all the important issues?

In a divorce the majority of issues will fall into custody issues or property division issues. The agreement between the spouses needs to cover all of these issues for the court to grant a divorce that will help the parties move on with their lives. If the divorce decree fails to properly address the major issues then it sets up the parties for more conflict down the road. This doesn’t mean every minutes of your kids’ lives or every small piece of property must be addressed specifically but the terms of the divorce decree must generally apply.

7. Is there already an agreement or an expectation that an agreement will be made soon?

Before filing for divorce the parties should either have an agreement or be close enough to an agreement that it will be completed soon. The further away the parties are from reaching an agreement means the divorce process will be extended and that itself can add a lot of frustration that can end up breaking down the cooperative relationship and turn the divorce into an ugly affair.

8. Is the agreement fair?

Generally I do not convince parties to disrupt an agreement because an agreement the parties can live with is usually a better option for long term success than fighting over details and end up with a compromise that neither side likes but gets the parties to a divorce just so they can move on. This assumes, however, that both sides understand all the issues explained above and the agreement was made with full understanding of everything involved. Often an unfair agreement is reached because one side understands the issues less than the other.

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