It is not easy to divorce and the proceedings are usually painful. If you make up your mind to go your separate ways, you need to find out the option appropriate for your situation. Roughly stated, there are two types of divorce; contested divorce and uncontested divorce, but it is recommended to look into variable options of them.
If both decide to divorce and agree on related issues including custody, the couple may divorce by agreement, that is called an uncontested divorce. Divorce by agreement seems very simple and easy. Actually, it just requires two parties to fill out the form and to attend the court, so does not involve legal assistance from lawyers and legal fees. However, it requires the couple to have cooling off period to consider divorce; three months for couple having a kid and one month for couple without a kid. Also, it is essential that the parties attend the court in person. Additionally, the official form of divorce by agreement does not include asset division, child support and compensation (consolation money), so if there is disagreement on those issues between them, the parties should make a separate agreement on asset division or child support. Or it is possible, after divorce by agreement, to file for suit claiming asset division or child support or compensation for physical or mental anguish caused by the other party during the ex-marriage.
As for contested divorce, it is advisable to consider what is the best option for you during proceedings rather than fighting against the other party by trial. Basically, it is needed to file for court mediation before trial under Family Litigation Act. Court mediation sometimes may finalize the issues faster and simpler than uncontested divorce as it does not need cooling off period and if two parties agree on divorce and other issues at the court, which will be immediately confirmed. Also, if they have lawyers to represent them, the parties do not have to attend the court. I assisted some of my clients to finalize the case, without confronting each other, earlier than they had expected through court mediation.
I’d also like to mention the possibilities of the trial being promptly finalized. If two parties show their intention to agree on divorce and other issues through submitting legal briefs during the proceedings of trial, the judge may rule decision of recommendation for settlement without court hearings. If neither party raises an objection against the decision within 14 days from the date when they receive the decision, the decision will be finalized. I have helped some of my clients to peacefully and promptly finalize the proceedings of divorce without court date receiving decision of recommendation for settlement.
In a word, against our expectations, divorce by agreement is not always simpler and faster than contested divorce. If you are considering divorce, it is recommended to think over whether it is possible to reach an agreement on divorce and other issues, to sort out which issues are in a sharp conflict, and to find out what options are the most appropriate for resolving your issues.
For further inquiries on the best option for divorce, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
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