What Are the Differences Between an Uncontested Divorce and a Courtroom Divorce?

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted June 20, 2019

The word “divorce” evokes a courtroom scene for many people. Whether it comes from movies, television, or books, many people think that a divorce must involve a judge and lawyers.

Divorces can include these elements, but they can also simply involve both spouses and a mediator. That is known as an uncontested divorce. Both spouses work with a mediator to arrive at a solution that takes the needs of both into account, and that both regard as fair. “Uncontested” means that there is no contestation of the results – that is, no opposing sides that lawyers have to argue and the judge has to decide upon. You and your spouse comes to a mutual agreement, not a court decree.

uncontested divorce attorney denver

That isn’t to say that an uncontested divorce in Denver is simple or even always amicable. Divorces can be stressful, because the emotions can be high and the stakes can be large. But agreements arrived at with mediation and assistance can help resolve emotions and settle stakes in a manner that both sides agree upon.

That said, there are key differences between an uncontested divorce and a courtroom divorce. Here’s a review of them.

1. Amount and degree of stress

The decisions made in divorces have a major and lasting impact. They can affect your finances, your place of residence (both your housing and the state of residence), and your relationships with your children. In fact, divorces affect entire families, including aunts, uncles, grandparents, and grandchildren, for generations. For this reason, divorces can also end up affecting your health and well-being.

As a result, going through a divorce can be highly stressful. Both sides may worry that the decision reached will affect them or their loved ones negatively. Unpredictability adds to stress, and the ruling of a court can be unpredictable.

Because an uncontested divorce in Denver is arrived at through mediation, they create much less stress. Both spouses are expected to work together to reach a mutually agreeable solution. Neither party has to worry about an unacceptable solution being handed down from on high.

During divorce mediation in Denver, you meet with your spouse and a mediator to discuss the primary issues, such as division of financial assets, real estate, any spousal alimony, and custody of children. Split Simple has all the documentation needed to arrive at an agreement. Once you and your spouse have agreed, these documents are finalized and provided to the court, who rules to finalize an official divorce agreement.

2. Speed

Court divorces can be lengthy, because lawyer and court schedules both must be taken into account. Court schedules can be booked months in advance, so a court divorce can simply be a matter of waiting to even get a court date. In addition, they are assigned without regard to your own schedule, such as travel for work.

Appointments with a divorce mediator are much faster to arrive at, and can be scheduled with your convenience in mind. Many mediators can offer preliminary paperwork, such as a questionnaire, beforehand, to be filled out at your convenience.

3. Expense

Court divorces require attorneys, who usually charge by the hour. Particularly if you and your spouse don’t agree, you may end up with hourly fees that are very expensive, and that can take a large part of any settlement you receive.  

An uncontested divorce in Denver usually offers a pricing plan for mediation, which is transparent about the ultimate cost. It is based on the amount of mediation you need. Factors that can affect that include:

  • Your income and that of your spouse
  • The value of both of your assets and debts
  • The value of both of your retirement plans
  • Any co-ownership of assets, such as a house, boat, or other property or asset
  • Children
  • Disagreement on elements of your divorce

Split Simple mediation begins with a complimentary consultation to help you decide which plan would be right for you and your spouse.

This means you can budget for your divorce as you would any expense, with no unexpected addition from a ticking clock.

4. Degree and amount of guidance

Sometimes, people assume they can handle a court divorce by themselves, without a lawyer. But divorce, no matter what is involved, in a complicated process. Laws, finances, and regulations regarding custody and visitation need a degree of expertise to complete without an unwitting mistake that can affect you negatively for years to come.

A mediation process for an uncontested divorce in Denver offers a middle ground between a court divorce with lawyers and a court divorce that you try to do yourself. Professional mediators will guide you through the process and paperwork. Finances are divided in a clear and transparent manner. A lawyer will assist you through the process as well.  You will be advised of both the present and future implications for you of all decisions.

In an uncontested divorce, you won’t be surprised by a mandate over which you have little or no control. You won’t be drained by months of arguing. You will reach a mutually agreed upon set of decisions with support and guidance. You’ll be able to live with the result.

5. Degree and amount of privacy

Court proceedings are matters of public record. That means that your divorce proceedings are not private. Financial assets are discussed in court, and therefore can be accessed by the public. So can any circumstances that surround the divorce and are discussed in court, including matters that you fear may damage your reputation or cause people to think less well of you.

The mediation process, on the other hand, is private and not a matter of public record. Your finances, privacy, and divorce arrangements are not known to the public in an uncontested divorce in Denver and can’t be accessed. Your mediator can never be forced to testify against you in court, either.

There are many reasons that an uncontested divorce might be a better solution for you, your spouse, and your children than a court divorce. To discuss the process, call us at 720-501-4600. We’re happy to answer questions and explain the mediation process; contact Split Simple today to begin.

Split Simple
1624 Market Street #202
Denver, CO 80202