Actually, most divorces have their own quirks and are more different than they are the same. This blog is to inform those who are considering divorce, the different types of situations they may find themselves in. Indiana Statutes require that there is a waiting period of at least sixty (60) days from when the divorce is filed and finalized. However, most of the time, the process takes a much longer time. Below we will discuss different types of uncontested divorces and better estimates on what to expect. We will discuss the contested divorces in a separate blog.
Simple uncontested divorces without assets and children- These tend to be the easiest and most likely to be completed after the required sixty days. Here the parties do not have real property or retirement accounts that needs to be addressed. They also do not have children and have to deal with the issues of custody, parenting time, child support, and parenting classes. We are able to file the initial paperwork without setting any hearings, and draft the final paperwork to be signed by the parties, and file with the court based upon the timeline. These people generally just want a divorce and move on.
Simple uncontested divorces without children but with no "joint assets" - These divorces also tend to be simple. In these cases, the parties may have assets such as a home and retirement accounts but the marriages tend to be shorter. The parties are in agreement that the assets they came into the marriage with, or were accumulated during their marriage in each parties own names, belong to the party that owns the asset. In general, all debts and assets in a marriage are to be divided equitably, with them being considered part of the "marital pot." However, if the parties are in agreement for each party to keep what is in their name only and there are no joint debts or assets, these divorces can be finished rather quickly.
Uncontested divorces with Children but no joint assets or debts - These types of divorces are those where the parties have minor children but recognize that both parents are important to their children's lives and should be a part of it. The parties are not fighting over custody and parenting time. If one parent has an obligation to pay child support, he or she recognizes that obligation and cooperates either with each other on agreeing to a fair amount or accepting what the Child Support Guidelines state should be the child support amount. We are able to again file the initial petition for dissolution of marriage and, if necessary, agreed provisional orders. The parties are required, no matter how well they get along, to complete the county required co-parenting classes prior to finalizing the divorce. Sometimes these classes delay the finalizing due to scheduling issues. However, these types of divorces should be completed within 3-4 months.
Uncontested Divorces with children and assets and/or debts - These are a bit more complicated than those listed above. However, these can still be resolved in a reasonable amount of time; it just takes more work on everyone's behalf. The parties need to be able to provide information regarding their debts and assets, as well as an detailed explanation on how they wish for these to be divided. We generally prefer to have copies of the debts, retire account values, information regarding mortgages and values of any real property, and any other relevant information so that we can ensure our office has a complete picture and both parties have been satisfied that all of the information has been disclosed.
Client and spouse will need to provide their agreement on custody, parenting time, and child support. We do request that in all cases with children, both parties provide their income so we can properly determine what child support should be by the Guidelines. However, parties can also agree to deviate with good cause. Again, the parties will need to make sure they complete the co-parenting classes prior to the divorce being finalized.
What We Can Offer
Our Office is experienced in helping divorcing couples who want a divorce and are not contesting the terms of the divorce. We offer flat fee rates and can work with both parties to achieve the goals. We also have a secure client portal that we can share information with both parties as the parties agree upon. Both parties can sign the documents electronically through the portal as well (although we are more than willing to have anyone come to the office to review and sign the documents).
However, with that said, even when we are working with both parties to finalize the divorce, we can represent only one party and in the event there is a breakdown in the cooperation between the parties, we have to put our client's interest first. We are still able to continue to negotiate with the other party as long as he or she remains unrepresented.
If you and your spouse are considering an uncontested divorce, please contact our office to discuss your options in more detail. We can be reached at 574-323-5126 or you can submit a contact form on this website.