Divorce not an easy process. That’s why some couples try to get an uncontested divorce to make their divorce quicker and cheaper.
Perhaps you and your spouse don’t have any property or children and a cut-and-dry uncontested divorce agreement seems best. But your simple uncontested divorce may have issues are actually more complex that you think.
When Uncontested Divorce Doesn’t Work
The more complex the issues are, the greater the risk that your divorce will result in future problems. There are a number of potential pitfalls to consider before going for an uncontested divorce.
Child Custody and Visitation
This has to be the most confusing part of any divorce order. It requires extensive planning for contingencies that happen in life. Most uncontested divorces only think about the best custody arrangement in the present day, but do not anticipate changes in circumstances of the parents and kids.
Let’s say you and your spouse decide to share custody equally with no child support. This may look like a great idea now, but the custodial spouse will regret it when the other spouse moves to New York making lots of money in a new job.
No Discovery Procedures
The main disadvantage of an uncontested divorce is that the process does not have any discovery. Discovery is the process by which the spouses formally request information and documentation from each other in a contested case. Uncontested divorces do not have discovery procedures in place.
If you lack accurate or complete information regarding the income of your spouse, then you don’t know how to intelligently negotiate your divorce. If you don’t know about all the income of your spouse, it’s likely that an uncontested divorce could result in a divorce agreement that provides unfair terms in almost all aspects of the divorce, from custody, child support, to division of property.
Even if you think that your spouse has been honest and forthcoming with all things about his assets and money, chances are, he’s hiding something like a 401K worth $1,000,000 that he conveniently forgets to tell you about. If you don’t factor that 401k into the divorce, you won’t get a penny of it.
Duress and Coercion
Frequently an uncontested divorce is the bright idea of the spouse that stands most to lose in a contested divorce like half his big 401K that he worked so hard for. Knowing that the 401K is on the chopping block in a contested divorce he sweet talks his to-be-ex about getting an uncontested divorce because it’s simple, cheap, no-stress, affordable, no expensive attorneys to worry about, and fast.
Your intuition and all the information on this website tells you it’s a bad idea, but he walks you into his attorneys office with the agreement all drafted and ‘ready-to-go.’ Not knowing any better and feeling under pressure you sign the divorce: you end up getting the house you can’t afford and he takes off with a $1million 401K and no debt.
Spousal Support or Alimony
If you may think that your spouse may be eligible to receive alimony from you, then you actually have options you may not know about. A hasty uncontested divorce agreement can potentially rob you of options like choosing a lump sum payment for support instead a paying 20% of your income for the next 3 years. So think twice before you agree to support your ex-spouse through years of monthly payments, or before you agree to give up your right to ask for spousal support altogether.
Get help for your uncontested or contested divorce in San Antonio
As you can see the legal and financial implications of even the most simple, uncontested divorce can be profound. You get what you pay for, and the legal consequences of doing a divorce on the cheap can be very costly indeed.
James Meyrat primarily focuses on family law in San Antonio. James can help you with a fast and simple no-fault or uncontested divorce. However, James is also there to represent you in the most difficult contested divorce situations too. With experience in and out of the courtroom, James can help you with your divorce — no matter what.