Riverside County Uncontested Divorce Solutions
An uncontested divorce is one that settles outside of court. There are many advantages to an uncontested divorce — the primary advantage being that an uncontested divorce is considerably cheaper than a contested one. If a coupe wishes to avoid a divorce trial, there are many ways to settle the divorce outside of court.
Resolve Pending Divorce Issues
One way that many couples settle their divorce outside of court is to negotiate a marital settlement agreement. During the divorce process, you will need to divide marital property and decide which spouse will be responsible for paying marital debts. If there are children, you will need to figure out child custody and child support. You will also need to determine if one spouse will receive spousal support. Couples can negotiate these issues themselves and work out an agreement. Attorneys can assist a divorcing spouse with the negotiation. If the couple is reasonable and willing to listen to legal advice, they will likely come to an agreement.
Prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement
If the couple comes to an agreement, and neither has an attorney, they will need to prepare a marital settlement agreement. This can be complicated, and a judge may reject a poorly drafted settlement agreement that does not comply with California law. To make sure the agreement will be accepted, hire an uncontested divorce legal document preparer to draft a settlement agreement. A document preparer can prepare legal filings and forms and their fees are much less than an attorney. However, a document preparer cannot give legal advice.
If you need legal advice, hire an attorney for the limited purpose of drafting the settlement agreement. Having an attorney draft the agreement is more expensive than a certified legal document preparer, but the attorney can provide you with legal advice regarding the terms of the agreement. The attorney can provide limited counsel and advise if the agreement is fair. If you hire an attorney to draft the agreement, the attorney will only represent you and not your spouse. The unrepresented spouse should hire an attorney for the limited purpose of reviewing the settlement agreement.
Mediate Any Remaining Disputes
If you cannot come to an agreement through negotiation, you may want to try mediation to help settle the case outside of court. Mediation typically costs a couple thousand dollars, but this is significantly less than the cost of a trial. During mediation, a neutral mediator will work with you and your spouse to reach an agreement.
There are some drawbacks to mediation. The goal of mediation is an agreement. This could result in an agreement that is unfair to a spouse. However, mediation is not binding, so the agreement can be rejected. If one spouse rejects the mediation agreement, the couple has wasted time and money and will have to start over. An alternative to mediation is arbitration. The difference between mediation and arbitration is that arbitration is binding. Both spouses must agree to the arbitration in advance for it to be binding.
SD Esquire Flat Fee Divorce Service
SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services to pro se litigants. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce. Our attorney will serve as a third-party neutral mediator. Our flat fee legal document preparation services start at $495 for Summary Dissolution and $695 for standard divorce.