Uncontested divorces are more affordable and less time-consuming than traditional litigation.
They are also more preferable when minor children are involved as an uncontested divorce inflicts less mental damage to all the participants.
However, the presence of children has additional issues to consider.
In an uncontested divorce with children, the parents and the judges must ensure that the final decree is in the child’s best interests and contains the terms for child custody, parenting time, and child support obligation.
Can you have an uncontested divorce with children?
Uncontested divorce with a child is almost the same as a mutual agreement divorce. But there are several differences.
For example, a settlement agreement for dissolution with kids includes child custody arrangements (e.g., physical and legal custody decisions) and financial support.
It is available for couples who can negotiate and resolve their disputes outside court before starting the divorce process.
Spouses can even file their petitions and other papers jointly in some states.
Couples who cannot agree on all issues and have several unresolved minor disagreements can still avoid court trials. To proceed with an amicable dissolution, they can use mediation.
It’s an alternative way to resolve marital issues during separation.
The cost of uncontested divorce with kids
The overall cost depends on whether spouses hire an attorney to complete the child custody forms and other papers and represent the case in court.
Since their hourly rate can sometimes reach $500, the cost of uncontested divorce with kids will likely rise to several thousand dollars.
But even so, it is still more affordable than a traditional contested divorce. For instance, a typical contested divorce with children can reach $15,000.
In addition, couples who cannot resolve their issues beforehand and file for a contested divorce without a custody agreement will have to go through full-scale litigation, which is usually a pricy process.
The cheapest way to get a divorce with a child is to prepare all the documentation without an attorney’s help.
In this case, the spouses will only need to pay the filing fees when submitting their papers to the court.
The court fees can even be waived if the filing couple cannot afford to pay them.
The biggest challenge is collecting and filling out the required forms correctly.
Unfortunately, mistakes are common when spouses without legal backgrounds want to get a cheap divorce with kids and file no-fault papers independently.
For this reason, many of them get the paperwork from online resources or have a lawyer review them.
How to file for divorce with kids
Different states have specific rules on how to file for divorce with kids. But one thing they have in common is the issue of jurisdiction.
Every couple must meet the residency requirements of the state and county where they want to file their case.
For instance, one of the spouses must currently live in the area for a specific number of days or intend to continue living there after the final judgment.
Additionally, the child custody proceeding is usually held in the location where the child lives.
Typical divorce proceedings start when a person files a petition (in some states, it