While you and your spouse may want to end your marriage, you may harbor no ill feelings toward each other. Couples divorce for many reasons, and many can avoid rancorous proceedings by working out the terms of their split with civility. If you and your spouse can do so, you might want to pursue an uncontested divorce. Before moving forward, though, it’s important to understand what this type of divorce entails.

Understanding uncontested divorces

Uncontested divorces happen when spouses can agree on the resolution of major issues such as property division, custody, child support and spousal support. This type of divorce does not work in every circumstance. If your split is acrimonious, you and your spouse will likely go through a contested divorce. A contested divorce is all but certain, too, if your spouse is manipulative, abusive or refuses to negotiate. And if you have significant or complex assets, you may need to litigate their division. But you two may want to keep things simple and may see eye to eye on how to end your marriage. In this case, an uncontested divorce will allow you a clean break and less hassle than a contested split.

You will also go through an uncontested divorce if your spouse fails to respond your petition. Even if you two disagree on the terms of your split, their lack of response means they have defaulted. If this happens, your spouse can no longer contest your case.

What uncontested divorces can do

Uncontested divorces are usually more affordable than contested divorces. Working out the terms of your split with your spouse will save you money on litigation. Doing so can save you time, too, since an uncontested divorce will not involve numerous court proceedings. And if you and your spouse can agree on major issues, you will likely avoid serious conflicts that delay the divorce timeline. Barring custody disputes, an uncontested divorce could also make sense if you two have children. By pursuing this option, you and your spouse can focus on prioritizing their needs and presenting a united front for them.

If you choose to pursue an uncontested divorce, you will still want the help of a family law attorney in reviewing its terms and ensuring a fair settlement.