What is an uncontested divorce? 

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You and your spouse have decided to get a divorce. Neither of you wants to go through a long, dragged-out process, so you decide to work things out amicably and on your own. This is what is known as an uncontested divorce.

Simply defined, an uncontested divorce is one in which a couple has “agreed to divorce and have reached an agreement about all major issues involved in ending their marriage.” Having worked everything out on their own or through mediation, they can avoid the trauma and the expense of a courtroom divorce trial and simply sign on the dotted line.

What are the requirements for an uncontested divorce?

The state of California requires the following criteria to be met for your divorce to qualify as uncontested:

  • One party must file the papers with the court and pay the modest filing fee. When this is done, the filing spouse must have a third party serve the other spouse with copies of all of the divorce papers.
  • At least one member of the couple seeking divorce must have been a resident of California for a minimum of six months. They must also have lived in the county where they are filing for a minimum of three months.
  • Both parties must agree on property division, child custody and support, spousal support and any other matters as they pertain to your marriage.
  • Both parties must be willing to sign the agreement, as well as any other paperwork that is necessary.

It’s important to note that “uncontested” doesn’t mean “trouble-free” or “easy.” If you are filing an uncontested divorce, you may have questions or need some guidance. An experienced legal guide can assist you with any matters pertaining to your divorce and help your divorce process stay on track.


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