If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of a divorce and how to solve divorce-related issues, you can pursue an uncontested divorce. Filing for an uncontested divorce can save time and money, and a trip to a courtroom. This is not to say that disputes will not arise in an uncontested divorce, but rather that both parties are able to reach an agreement without the intervention of a judge. Uncontested divorces are usually the most logical way to disband short marriages without children and little to no property, assets, or debts acquired during the marriage.
Eligibility for an uncontested divorce
In order to file for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must first agree on the divorce, and secondly scrutinize the situation in which you both find yourselves. If you do not have children, you and your spouse must still agree on the division of property, assets, and debt, as well as spousal support/alimony. This is why uncontested divorces are more viable for shorter marriages as there is simply less property to divide. However, regardless of how much separate or community property you and your spouse have, the important part to remember is you have to be in full agreement on who gets what. If you do have children you must agree on the previously mentioned concerns as well as how custody will be shared (or organize time-sharing), and parental responsibilities including the amount and duration of child support. New Mexico requires that at least one spouse has lived in the state for at least the previous six months. Then, both spouses must prepare, agree upon, and sign a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), which will have to be approved by a judge.
What are the advantages of an uncontested divorce?
Divorce is generally difficult, for there are many components at play. A transition into divorce is often overwhelming in that it is a costly, stressful, and lengthy process. Pursuing an uncontested divorce allows former spouses to move on quicker. This type of divorce travels faster through the court system, for the reason that it requires fewer proceedings and less mediation. Pursuing an uncontested divorce may reduce the amount of conflict during the case; subsequently reducing stress, alleviating expenses, and saving time. Remember, the less time you spend in court or filing motions, the easier and cheaper your case is. As long as there are no major outstanding issues, you should be able to avoid court altogether and complete your divorce with just a Petition, MSA, and Final Decree.
What are the disadvantages of an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce may seem simple and efficient for any couple who agrees on most elements of their split. However, this is not always the case. Couples often overestimate the simplicity of an uncontested divorce and bypass critical conversations, such as complex property arrangements and potential disagreement as to spousal support; resulting in greater more costly issues in the future. Rushing through the divorce process in hopes of attaining a fast and stress-free separation, may actually lead to more problems.
How do I get an uncontested divorce?
Uncontested divorces are feasible for couples who have reached agreements on all facets of a divorce, (meaning that there are no disagreements on child custody, child support, division of property assets and debt, and spousal support/alimony). Additionally, the couple must reach the above-mentioned eligibility requirements in New Mexico. The process then begins much like a contested divorce in that one side files for divorce.
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