Uncontested Divorce Process in San Antonio

Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, but it can also be a relatively simple one if both parties are able to agree on all the issues. Uncontested divorce is the simplest and easiest way to get a divorce, but it can be hard to predict in advance if a divorce will settle or one party will not respond. This article will provide an overview of what an uncontested divorce is, the requirements for an uncontested divorce, the process for an uncontested divorce, the advantages of an uncontested divorce and the difference between contested and uncontested divorce.

Uncontested Divorce Requirements There are two pathways to an uncontested divorce. The first is where the spouses agree on all the issues in the divorce, such as marital property, spousal support (formerly known as alimony), child custody and visitation, child support and the division of shared debt. The couple submits an agreement, settlement or stipulation to the court with everything they have agreed on. The second situation is where one spouse files for divorce and asks for specific things (such as child custody or ownership of the home) and the second spouse never responds to the divorce papers and does not appear in court. The case then proceeds without them and the court decides whether the filing spouse is entitled to what they have asked for, without input from the second spouse.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce All divorces start the same way: one partner (usually called the petitioner) files a petition for divorce with the court and the other partner (usually the respondent) is served with the complaint for divorce. Depending on the issues involved in the marriage, the petitioner may request temporary court orders when they file, too. This way, there are some rules in place for things like child custody and visitation during the sometimes lengthy divorce process.

When the original petition for divorce is filed, a court date is set for an initial appearance. This date is usually several months after filing. Between the initial filing and the court date, couples can and should try to work out as many issues as possible. If the couple can agree on every issue in the divorce, they can proceed with an uncontested divorce by completing a settlement. If, after trying to reach an agreement, the two sides can’t work everything out, then the remaining issues will have to be decided in court.

Process for an Uncontested Divorce If the couple can agree on every issue in the divorce, they can proceed with an uncontested divorce by completing a settlement. Though state rules vary, the couple with no disputes between them simply puts their agreement into writing (either with forms, on their own, or with help from an attorney or other professional). Once both parties confirm to the court they agree to the terms, the judge will sign off on their terms. One brief court appearance may be necessary. If a hearing is required, it involves the judge asking both parties some questions to make sure everyone understands the terms that they’re agreeing to.

The other process for an uncontested divorce is similar. The petitioner files the divorce papers and has them served to the respondent. The respondent then has a certain period of time (10 days to a couple of weeks) to either file a response or appear at a scheduled court appearance. If the respondent does neither, the court evaluates what the petitioner is asking for and issues a decision. A brief hearing is usually needed.