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Uncontested Divorce: What Happens When You Divorce Amicably

Uncontested Divorce: What Happens When You Divorce Amicably

By Kimberlee Leonard, Mom.me



IN THIS ARTICLE
  • Mediation for divorce
  • Steps to a peaceful divorce
  • Moving on: cohabitation after divorce

An uncontested divorce may seem impossible with the emotions involved in dissolving one of the most important relationships you’ve committed to. To divorce amicably means that the divorce is civil and you have conversations and come to reasonable agreements regarding property division, support, and custody. Ultimately, an uncontested divorce means you’ll likely save money in the process and become a better co-parent; you may even remain good friends.

Los Angeles family law attorney Jenna Blackmon has dedicated her entire career to keeping parties out of court. “Litigated cases can generate exorbitant legal fees, can drag on for years, and cause tremendous stress because of the adversarial nature of the process and the inherent uncertainty in having a third party judicial officer decide the contested issues,” she told Mom.com.


Mediation for divorce

Uncontested Divorce: What Happens When You Divorce Amicably

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When you mediate, both parties come to a neutral, often licensed mediator to help the couple ink out the final agreement for the court filings. You may be required to meet with a court-appointed mediator before a judge is even willing to hear your case. The goal of this practice is to get couples to agree on as much, if not all, the terms of the divorce making it an amicable divorce.

You can discuss all items of the divorce in mediation. This includes:
  • Splitting of assets
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Physical custody
  • Legal custody

Essentially, anything you need to decide on is open for discussion in mediation. It is the best place to start if you want to have an uncontested divorce, and both parties may realize, with the help of a good mediator, that fighting won’t win anything. This isn’t to say that you will agree with everything that your ex comes to the table with, but mediation is a great way to help both parties come to the best solutions for the least amount of additional heartache or court conflict.


Steps to a peaceful divorce


Uncontested Divorce: What Happens When You Divorce Amicably

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The thing you need to do when getting a divorce is pause and take a deep breath. There are a lot of things coming at you from a lot of different directions — all of which get compounded with your emotions. Taking a breath will give you a moment to gather yourself and follow the process. Be open-minded by knowing what your goals are and knowing that no one wins everything they want in the divorce.

Legal battles are expensive and emotionally draining. To keep yourself out of the courts, here are the steps for an uncontested divorce:

1. Eliminate blame.

This can be hard depending on how the divorce came about, but you can’t do anything else if you are blaming the other party.

2. Focus on the big picture.

Remember that judges rarely give one party everything they want and what will be spent to try. Your big picture should be to move on in as healthy of a fashion as possible so you can get on with living and not divorcing.

3. Negotiate in good faith.

Don’t make agreements but in secret know you’ll withdraw them when the time comes to sign the agreement. These types of games only create more conflict and will render a mediation useless.

4. Keep kids first in all negotiations.

When you keep your kids’ best interest at heart, you often find a way to do the right thing. That isn’t to say that giving up time might be hard, but knowing you’re doing the right thing for your kids makes it a little more palatable.

5. Listen to the mediator.

Let the mediator do their job and run the show. They’ll give each party their rightful time and help to decipher the real needs and wants being said. You have to have faith in the mediator, otherwise mediation will fail.

Florida mom Jennie Pritcher feels a great mediator is critical. “I kept feeling my emotions welling up inside, and our mediator did such a good job of keeping me on track,” she told Mom.com. Take the time to find a mediator you like and trust.


Moving on: cohabitation after divorce

Uncontested Divorce: What Happens When You Divorce Amicably

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You did your job and got an amicable divorce, which has freed up your time, money, and emotions to be seriously involved with someone else. Many divorced people will get into another very serious relationship shortly after the divorce (or in the process). Of course, we aren’t suggesting that you rush into anything, but if the divorce is amicable and you are ready to move on, your happiness is paramount and that is one of the benefits of divorcing amicably — you get to be happy faster.

Even in a civil divorce, there are rules in some states that say you can’t marry for a specified period of time — say, 90 days. In this case, what happens if you have met or meet someone that you really are interested in? You may decide to move in together sooner than later.

Some experts say to have a co-tenancy agreement when choosing to cohabitate shortly after a divorce. Think of this like a prenuptial agreement, not for marriage but for someone who just got out of a divorce and needs to protect themselves moving forward. This agreement outlines property, who is on the deed or lease, and where down payments are coming from. By doing this, you’ll prevent any need for court or conflict if the new relationship ends up not being everything you dreamt of. 

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Bloom Magazine: Uncontested Divorce: What Happens When You Divorce Amicably
Uncontested Divorce: What Happens When You Divorce Amicably
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