Understanding the Mechanics of Divorce

The Uncontested Divorce
It is a common misconception that an uncontested divorce is a type of divorce; it’s not. When you go to the courthouse you don’t file an uncontested divorce. The uncontested part of the divorce is the settlement agreement that is attached to the divorce; it is stage that you reach in a divorce proceeding marked by agreement. Fundamentally, if you don’t have a settlement agreement, you don’t have an uncontested divorce. Don’t make the error of putting the cart before the horse. If you don’t have an agreement, you don’t have an uncontested divorce; even if you want one the other side might not agree to your terms. If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of the dissolution of your marriage then filing an uncontested divorce is the most reasonable way to proceed in your divorce case.

What are the benefits of agreeing to the terms of your divorce? First, anytime you can agree to anything in your case it’s much cheaper. What are the disadvantages of agreeing to the terms of your divorce? Well none if you can agree to the terms. The question is what are the terms of the divorce? If you are satisfied with the terms of your divorce settlement then you have an uncontested divorce. Realistically people who have been married for a long time, have significant assets or very different parenting styles may not reach the uncontested stage of the divorce proceedings as quickly as a couple with no children, no property and little time together.

Collaborative Divorce
Taking a collaborative approach to divorce is often the most sensible solution to reaching an agreement when the parties can work together to resolve their differences. It does not work if one spouse is uncompromising and refuses to moderate a position, especially an extreme position. To be clear sometimes being uncompromising is exactly the right, perhaps the only way to be. In those situations a litigated divorce is the right approach.

Litigated Divorces
Litigated divorces have certain advantages. Although litigated divorces can get expensive there are some definite reasons you may want to consider having your divorce litigated. Probably the most important reason to have your divorce litigated is because you don’t trust your spouse to deal honestly with the issues that surround the breakup of your marriage or the terms that are offered by your spouse in the divorce settlement are not acceptable.
Frankly, litigating a matter is the most exciting aspect of an attorney’s job. There is a reason very few television shows don’t feature dramas about lawyers who draw up settlement agreements. Although some attorneys enjoy trying cases, and I for one rather enjoy trials, ultimately whether the case is tried or not is your decision.

We are happy to be of assistance whether you simply need help filing and drafting an agreement, need a counselor to advise you through a collaborative divorce or ultimately if you want us to champion your cause in court we are happy to help.

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Law Office of Martin M. del Mazo
750 Hammond Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30328