As speakers we can find ourselves being asked to talk about a number of very difficult topics. When we find ourselves in these situations, we have a responsibility to do our homework and make sure that we fully understand the details associated with both sides of situations that can be emotionally charged for all parties involved. Divorce is a area that many speakers get asked to talk about. The details of how people choose to split up can play a big role in the speech that we give. This means that you need to take the time to understand how contested and uncontested divorce hearings are held.
No one wants to get to this point, but many do: divorce is still incredibly common in the United States, with about half of couples calling it quits in the years after their holy union. Divorce is not an easy process for anyone. But even within those parameters, there are some couples that will have it easier than others.
If you and your spouse are on the same page regarding your divorce, it can simplify and streamline the divorce proceedings. Agreeing upon big areas like child custody or property distribution can help make the legal uncoupling less stressful.
Still, you might be nervous or anxious about your uncontested divorce hearing. How does it work and what will go down? There’s no need to be anxious. Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
The Benefits of Uncontested Divorce
When it comes to splitting up, there are two potential paths: uncontested divorce and contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is still initiated by one partner in the marriage but proceeds if both parties are on the same page about major issues regarding the marriage.
There are many potential benefits to proceeding through the divorce process in an uncontested manner.
One of the major benefits? Money. Contested divorce cases can last months or even years, and associated legal costs can become overwhelming. A contested divorce case will go by much quicker, and court and attorney costs will be much more affordable as a result.
The speed of an uncontested divorce also is good for the mental health of the couple in question.
Getting through the process quickly allows each person to move on with their lives and begin to heal and readjust. It’s difficult to adjust to a new life when you have the storm of your old marriage hanging over your head for months and years after splitting. Uncontested divorces allow for a much cleaner and comfortable split.
This simplicity won’t always be possible. Many couples won’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to matters like child custody, and they will have to fight things out in court. But in the rare case where the couple is on the same page, an uncontested divorce can allow greater peace of mind for everyone involved.
Prior to Your Divorce Hearing
Understanding what will happen at your uncontested divorce hearing might help you feel less anxious about the whole endeavor. If you haven’t already, you or your attorney will need to schedule the hearing.
There are different laws in different states about when this hearing will need to be scheduled. In some states, you will need to schedule the hearing a minimum of a few months following your initial divorce filing.
Once scheduled, you’ll need to ensure that your spouse is aware of the date in question. It is not a requirement that they attend the hearing, though they are welcome to. The court will likely mail or e-mail a dated notice of your hearing to both parties.
Prior to your divorce hearing, your attorney will help to gather all the necessary paperwork. This will include all important and relevant documents in regards to the case. That means your divorce petition, your original marriage license, and other such evidence.
If you have kids, it will also mean bringing paperwork such as their birth certificates and other such documentation.
An experienced attorney will know exactly what you need to have with you at your court case. They will ensure that all proper documentation has been collected, organized, and will be ready to present to a judge.
At Your Uncontested Divorce Hearing
What about the actual hearing itself? What will happen there?
You will wait with your attorney to be called up to speak with the judge. Once you are called, the judge will ask you a number of questions. This might sound intimidating, but these are all basic questions that you should know the answers to.
These are basic questions, like your name, the length of your marriage, the number of children you have, and so forth. Your attorney will walk the judge through all the agreed-upon tenants of your divorce, including child custody, support payments, and property allocation.
In many states, you will only be allowed to divorce if there is ‘no chance at reconciliation’ between you and your spouse. The judge will likely ask you if this is true in your case, and you will need to tell them that it is.
If all goes smoothly, the entirety of your divorce hearing won’t take more than five to ten minutes. It really is that simple. If your spouse attends the hearing, it may take a few minutes longer, on the off chance that the judge decides to ask your spouse any questions.
After Your Hearing
After the hearing, your attorney will help you secure the official documentation of your divorce. They will walk you through any remaining or pending issues. They will return the documentation you provided for the case and advise you on how best to hold onto it.
There’s always the chance you might need this documentation down the line if anything in your divorce arrangement were to change. You’ll want to make sure to keep it stored in a safe place.
Understanding Your Divorce Hearing
You can’t be blamed for feeling anxious about your upcoming uncontested divorce hearing. But understanding what will happen at the hearing can help you feel prepared and less nervous about the whole thing.
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