Understanding Cooperative Or No-Court Divorce

The traditional venue for obtaining a divorce is in the courts. But a new trend is emerging. More and more couples are participating in collaborative or cooperative divorce, which is also known as a no-court divorce.

Spouses can have a team of professionals to assist with the issues that arise during a divorce. The team could include (in addition to a lawyer) a therapist and/or a financial professional. The spouses and the professionals agree to stay out of the court, which will help the spouses arrive at a cooperative settlement.

The spouses can use the professionals as much or as little as they like. The therapist can help increase communication between spouses and with their children. The financial specialist values assets such as stock options, pensions and business interests.

Contested And Uncontested Divorce In Sonoma And Santa Rosa

Although collaborative or cooperative divorce is not always an option, and the court must be involved, we can help decide the right direction for you when it comes to uncontested and contested divorces in California.

Uncontested Cases

A divorce action is uncontested if a couple agrees on how to resolve issues of money, property and parenting, or if both spouses do not file any forms at the court that disagree with the requests in the divorce petition.

If one spouse fails to file a response to a divorce petition and defaults, the case can be completed as an uncontested case, even if the couple does not agree on everything. Generally, uncontested cases can be handled by mail and brief contact with a judge. In some instances, no contact with a judge is needed.

Contested Cases

A divorce action is contested if a couple cannot agree on one or more issues. As a result, the parties have to talk to a judge to resolve the disagreement. A contested case also may be resolved through negotiation, mediation or other processes. If this occurs, the matter becomes an uncontested case, which can be completed more quickly and at a lower cost.

Let us help with your cooperative, uncontested or contested divorce options. Please call Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law, at 707-387-0668 or contact us through our online email form today.