Many divorcing couples are worried about how long it will take to dissolve their marriage, how much it will cost, and maintaining a civil relationship, especially if they have children.
An uncontested divorce is quicker, less expensive, and far less stressful than a contested divorce. For couples who communicate well and can work productively toward a common goal, an uncontested divorce could alleviate many concerns about dissolving a marriage.
The uncontested divorce process in Frisco requires couples to adhere to numerous legal requirements. Couples seeking an uncontested divorce should consult an experienced divorce attorney who will not look to create fights for information and guidance.
An uncontested divorce means the couple has no dispute that a court needs to resolve. Both spouses agree they should divorce and are willing to cite the marriage is unsupportable as the grounds for divorce, and they have no need for the court to decide about splitting their property. When the couple has children, they have a parenting plan they agree on.
In an agreed divorce, the couple agrees on all issues and has written agreements regarding property and debt division, alimony, and a parenting plan if they are parents, which they submit to the court to be issued as court orders.
A default divorce could happen when the whereabouts of one spouse is unknown, and the other spouse must serve divorce papers by publication. The more common situation is when one spouse files for divorce and the other receives service of the divorce petition but does not respond within 20 days as the law requires. During the uncontested divorce process in Frisco, the petitioning spouses must demonstrate to the court they are entitled to what they are asking for.
One spouse, the petitioner, begins the divorce proceedings by filing a petition for divorce and paying the applicable fees. When a couple has no minor children together and no marital property to divide, the petitioner can often use simplified forms to begin an uncontested divorce.
Once the petitioner files the petition, they must serve the papers on the other spouse, who is the respondent. In most uncontested divorces, the petitioner can personally serve the papers on the respondent instead of using the sheriff or a process server. According to Texas Family Code §6.4035, the respondent must complete a form acknowledging they waived formal service and have it notarized. They cannot complete this form until at least one day after the petitioner filed the papers at the courthouse.
The forms and processes vary slightly between counties and in many cases, divorce petitions can be filed online. A petitioner should seek advice about local forms and rules for the uncontested divorce process from a Frisco attorney or the District Clerk.
When the couple has children, marital property to divide, or one spouse requires ongoing support, they must address these issues in a marital settlement agreement. Many couples work with a mediator to resolve these issues before filing for divorce.
The mediator typically issues a mediation summary the couple can use as the basis for a marital settlement agreement. A Frisco attorney could draft the agreement or review an agreement the couple drafted before filing it during the divorce process, and ensure the agreement meets legal requirements and protects the parties’ rights.
The couple must observe a mandatory 60-day waiting period before the court will schedule a hearing on the divorce petition if one is necessary. When it is, the judge will ensure both parties understand the implications of the settlement agreement and the finality of divorce. When the judge is satisfied, the court will issue a final divorce decree.
An uncontested divorce is simpler and less stressful than a contested divorce, but there are things that could go wrong. A completely DIY divorce could backfire and cost more money in the long run.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.