Contested and Uncontested Divorce Explained
First and foremost, you can save a lot of money completing a California divorce by hiring a registered legal document assistant to prepare your divorce papers instead of a lawyer. In order to explain California divorce, you need to understand the two options or paths that a divorce can have.
Contested divorce: Often contested divorces require a lawyer – but not always! In a contested divorce, the spouse who files (the petitioner) makes requests about various divorce issues (such as alimony, child custody, or division of property) in the divorce petition. Upon being served with a copy of the petition, the other spouse (the respondent) files a response to the petition to the court. The response may oppose some or all of the Petitioner’s requests. For example, the respondent might want 182.5 days of parenting time per year, while the petitioner wants to give them only 80 days. In a contested divorce, the judge must decide the terms of the divorce because the parties cannot agree on them by themselves. Contested divorce is common among couples who have minor children together and couples who jointly own valuable assets. Although you may need a lawyer in a contested divorce if your matter goes to trial, a legal document assistant can help you prepare many of routine divorce documents.
Uncontested divorce: Uncontested divorce is much simpler. One spouse files the divorce petition, requesting terms for the divorce. Often the parties agree on the terms before filing the petition. In this situation, the other spouse doesn’t need to file a response. Instead, the parties exchange their financial disclosures, sign a marital settlement agreement, and can complete the divorce without a court hearing. In this situation, the judge merely stamps his or her approval on the couple’s agreement and made a final divorce decree. In most cases, an uncontested California divorce usually takes less than three or four months to complete. Remember, however, the parties are not single until 6 months and 1 day after the Respondent acknowledges service of process of the initial Petition.
Uncontested Divorce Does Not Have to Cost a Fortune
Hiring a lawyer for an uncontested divorce is a waste of money. You are not at risk of losing in a dispute because there is no dispute. Since you and your spouse already agree on everything, you only need to complete the proper paperwork. Uncontested divorce still requires some legal paperwork, though, so having a professional such as A People’s Choice prepare your divorce papers is a good idea.
A People’s Choice for Affordable Uncontested Divorce in California
A registered legal document assistant is the best choice to prepare your California divorce documents in an uncontested divorce. Legal document assistants have a professional certification to prepare legal documents but do not charge the exorbitant fees that lawyers charge. Contact A People’s Choice for your divorce papers, and you can be single again by this time next year. Call us now at 800-747-2780 for more information about our services.
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