Uncontested Divorce Lawyers in Fredericksburg, VA

An uncontested divorce is an efficient and private means of achieving a divorce agreeable to both spouses. You’ll first need to ensure you meet residency and separation requirements based on your case, then you’ll need to determine an appropriate division of all assets and debts, whether or not support should be owed to either party, and the best child custody arrangement and child support (if applicable).

Finally, you’ll submit your written, signed agreement to the court for final resolution of your divorce.

Mistakes during the process or in the final documents can be costly to your future. Working with an experienced Fredericksburg divorce attorney can prevent some of those grave mistakes as you’ll be supported and guided through the process. 

Connect with us to discuss your options and to learn how we can help. Continue reading to learn more about the uncontested divorce process. 

What are the benefits of an uncontested divorce?

When most people hear the word “divorce,” they usually think of a contested divorce full of messy and expensive court battles where a judge can make decisions that will affect your future whether you agree with them.

This is not the reality in most cases, especially in uncontested divorces. Many divorcing couples in Fredericksburg undergo uncontested divorce because they’re less costly, less stressful, and less hostile than traditional divorce.

Less expensive

In addition to being much more costly, a contested divorce requires that your personal life details could possibly be made public due to court proceedings being public records, you no longer have control over the final resolution of your divorce, and it might lead to greater animosity. 

Less animosity

An uncontested divorce is an option, though, and often the best path for spouses who can agree on all the important elements of their divorce. Although you and your spouse might be able to agree on the elements themselves, it’s a complicated process that needs to be done correctly–a lawyer can help with the negotiations surrounding the divorce agreement and the important minutia in the final agreement and decree.

Uncontested divorce still comes with some risk

Although many might assume that there’s only risk to you if you proceed with a contested divorce without an attorney (unrepresented) because both the other attorney and the court might ignore or overlook your rights, that’s simply not the case.

Those same risks exist in an uncontested divorce because if your spouse is represented and you aren’t, their attorney might try to take advantage of you and convince you to sign a more advantageous agreement with their client.

You must work with an attorney to protect your rights and to help process the case efficiently but with all the necessary information so that you and your ex-spouse can move forward intelligently.

How a Fredericksburg uncontested divorce lawyer can help

Working with an experienced Fredericksburg family law attorney at Select Law Partners PLLC  will help ensure that your uncontested divorce is processed quickly and is completed without unnecessary exertion, worry, and effort so that you can move forward in your new chapter of life. 

We’ve helped clients in Fredericksburg complete their paperwork and move through their  divorce with confidence and ease, sometimes in less than a month. 

Qualifying for an uncontested divorce

Although pursuing an uncontested divorce is a great option for a streamlined divorce, it’s not an option for every divorce. First and foremost, you and your spouse must agree on the terms and timing of your separation, which sounds simple, but it dictates when you can file for a divorce. When this has been done, you must both consider, qualify for, and agree to the following key areas before filing for an uncontested divorce. 

Residency

To qualify for a divorce, at least one spouse must currently live in the state and must have lived there for, at minimum, six months prior to the filing of the complaint with the court. 

If the one spouse doesn’t live in the state but the filing spouse is a current resident and has met the minimum six-month residency requirement, the complaint may still be filed.

Separation requirements for uncontested divorce

Generally, determining one’s residency is a relatively simple issue, however Virginia’s separation requirements for filing an uncontested divorce are unique depending on your situation. In all scenarios, the spouses must be living “separate and apart without any cohabitation and without interruption”, however Virginia Code Section 20-91 further specifies that:

  • If there are minor children, you must have lived “separate and apart” for one year.
  • If there aren’t minor children and you have a written signed agreement settling all issues arising out of your marriage, then you must be separated for at least six months.  

Agreement on key issues

Prior to beginning the process of filing your uncontested divorce, it is important that you and your spouse come to an agreement on all the key issues in your case, which include:

  • How you will divide any real estate in the marriage 
  • How personal property from the marriage will be divided 
  • The way in which any outstanding debts will be allocated 
  • Whether either spouse will pay the other spousal support (alimony), and if so, in what amount 
  • If there are dependent children of the marriage, child custody, visitation, and child support will need to be agreed on 

Not only are the above issues necessary in a divorce, they’re often complicated. Without the assistance of an attorney, confusion, and disagreement is more likely, and if you’re not in agreement on all issues, you cannot file for an uncontested divorce. 

Process for securing an uncontested divorce

Even when both spouses completely agree on key issues in their divorce, it’s still a complex process. Because the process can be intimidating, each spouse should retain their own attorney so that each step is followed under the law. Each individual’s rights and interests are protected to ensure that both parties fully understand their rights and the implications of the final agreement. 

Although a family law attorney will be by your side, it’s helpful to understand the process of an uncontested divorce in Fredericksburg.

1. File a complaint

The process begins by drafting and filing a complaint for divorce in the circuit court of the county or city where you or your spouse resides. (You can find your appropriate circuit court here.) The complaint must contain the necessary content to provide for the uncontested divorce you seek, and a court filing fee is due when the complaint is submitted to the court. 

2. Serve the complaint

Your spouse must be served with the complaint per the state’s service requirements. Service can be arranged through the court or a private process server who will personally deliver the complaint to your spouse.

Service will require an additional fee. In an uncontested divorce, though, your attorney will send your spouse a Waiver of Service which your spouse will sign so that formal service by the Sheriff or private process server becomes unnecessary.

3. Sign a waiver of service

To support a more efficient and speedy process in your uncontested divorce, it is recommended that you pursue a “waiver of service” to be signed by your spouse instead of utilizing a process server, paying the service fee, and waiting for your complaint to be served.

If your spouse signs a waiver, it will be filed with the court and inform the judge that they do not object to your request for divorce, which further supports a more efficient process. 

4. Draft a settlement agreement

A settlement agreement is a written agreement between you and your spouse which includes the following:

  • The division of property
  • The assignment or allocation of debts
  • Alimony (if applicable) 
  • Child custody, visitation, and support

Property division is one of the key aspects of a divorce agreement, whether it’s contested or uncontested. Agreeing to the division of property allows you to maintain better control over the process and ultimately have a division you agree to rather than allowing the court to take control and make the decisions. 

Both you and your spouse must sign the settlement agreement, which is legally binding when the judge incorporates the order. To ensure that your settlement agreement accomplishes what you believe is a fair agreement on the above issues and most importantly that it is properly drafted, it’s recommended that you work with an experienced family law attorney in Fredericksburg.

5. Attend a court hearing

The final step in completing an uncontested divorce is to schedule a court hearing so the judge can grant the divorce. Although this is generally a fast and efficient hearing, it’s possible to avoid it altogether. If you prefer to stay out of the courtroom, we can file an affidavit allowing you to obtain a divorce without attending a court hearing.

Considering uncontested divorce? Let us help.

Going through a divorce is already very difficult, even before digging into all the rules and requirements. Working with a Select Law Partners PLLC experienced family law attorney will support and inform you through every step of your uncontested divorce. We will communicate with your spouse and their attorney to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement without the intrusive involvement of the court

Our experienced and client-centered family law attorneys are standing by to set up an appointment to learn how they can help you. Please contact us online or at (855) 541-4867 to schedule your consultation.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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