If you are looking to have an amicable divorce, you may be wondering if uncontested divorce is right for you and your spouse. This is typically the faster and cheaper way to divorce. Here is what you should know.
Contested Divorce Versus Uncontested Divorce
Most people who come into our Rochester office want to know the difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce. Almost everybody will say that theirs is going to be amicable and uncontested, and we always hope it works out that way; but, there is a considerable difference between the two terms. An uncontested divorce occurs after you have served your spouse and that spouse does nothing in response to the summons. In other words, they don’t hire a lawyer to submit an answer and they don’t come to court and try to negotiate the divorce settlement. They simply let the divorce go ahead. That is what is meant by an uncontested divorce.
A contested divorce, which is by far the more common type, happens when your spouse, having been served with a summons, goes to see a lawyer who will then submit an answer to your summons. You then have a situation in which both sides are represented by lawyers who then negotiate those important issues of divorce, including the children, money, and property. The significant difference is that in a truly uncontested divorce, the person being served does nothing, while in a contested divorce, the person being served responds and participates in negotiation of marital issues.
How Much an Uncontested Divorce Costs
When a potential client comes into our Rochester office, one question they always ask – although they normally save it until the end of the initial consultation – is, “How much is this going to cost?” I usually tell them that if their divorce is very simple – an uncontested divorce – the typical legal fee is about $2,000. It may be a little more or a little less – plus filing fees. On the other hand, if your divorce is contested and requires some negotiation – or even court intervention – in deciding issues dealing with the children or money, a typical fee would be about $4,500. Again, it may be more or less because every case is different.
If you think uncontested divorce is right for you, contact our Rochester divorce attorney’s office today for a free consultation.