This is a very common question I get from potential clients in consultations. While we’ve all heard the horror stories about vindictive spouses, the majority of the time (in my experience at least) clients want the divorce to be as amicable as possible. Most people want the process to be uncontested or want to settle it as quickly as possible.
However, I’ve begun to realize many people think “uncontested” means that both parties agree to divorce, when in reality “uncontested” means both parties agree to all of the terms of the divorce. Custody, visitation, support, division of property etc. If just one term is not agreed to then the process is technically contested. Now that doesn’t mean that the one term couldn’t be quickly resolved, and the divorce could then be filed as an uncontested divorce, but it does mean that the process gets started differently.
If the matter is very contested (i.e. there are many terms that you and your spouse disagree with) then there will often be a length discovery process and eventually a trial date. Although the matter could be settled at any time, a contested divorce can take years to fully work its way through the system.
If the matter is uncontested, then the divorce process is simply a matter of paperwork. At Woehrle Dahlberg Yao, we’ll get your paperwork for an uncontested divorce sent to you in four weeks, and once it’s all finalized send it off to the court where it’s usually entered in about six to eight weeks. There’s generally no court hearings that either party has to attend and the matter is signed by the judge.