What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Do You Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce?

Half of all marriages end in divorce. While “divorce” is often perceived as a nasty word—and an even nastier process for most couples—it does not have to be that way. When there are significant assets or children involved, some spouses try to seek revenge on their exes. In the end, nobody wins and the process becomes more time-consuming and costly.

Many couples, however, are taking the high road and opting for an uncontested divorce. As the name implies, the split is not contested. Both parties are agreeing to divorce amicably. Children may or may not be involved, but if so, the spouses are agreeing on custody and support issues. If one party is requesting alimony, the other party has agreed on it.

It may sound great, but having two people who no longer want to be married to each other agree to everything is easier said than done. Do you qualify for an uncontested divorce in Virginia? Read on to learn about the eligibility requirements and benefits.

Who can Get an Uncontested Divorce?

Couples who fully agree on every aspect of the divorce may qualify for an uncontested divorce or no-fault divorce. This includes child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. If there are any disagreements about any part of the divorce, then lawyers will likely need to be involved and the divorce ends up being contested. Because of this, many couples with children or complex property division issues will not qualify for an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce will apply.

If both parties agree to everything, a separation agreement may be required. If the parties have property to be divided, child support, custody, spousal support, or debts to be addressed, a separation agreement or stipulation and property settlement agreement may be necessary. An experienced attorney can prepare the agreement for you to ensure that the document will fulfill the statutory requirements under Virginia Code §20-155. Once the parties sign the separation agreement before a notary and the parties have been separated for the statutory period a complaint for divorce can be filed and the agreement will be introduced to the court. Then the other party signs a waiver and acceptance of service. The evidence will be taken by affidavits, depositions or ore tenus hearing and then if everything is in order, a final divorce decree will be entered by the court and the separation agreement will be incorporated into the final divorce decree.