My name is Stephen Jones, and I am an associate attorney here at Holcomb Law. Oftentimes, when I’m meeting with clients for a divorce, the topic of uncontested versus contested arises. Clients want to know what an uncontested divorce is and if their divorce will be one. The first thing we do at Holcomb Law is listen carefully to what our clients are saying during the initial consultation. That helps us determine if the matter will be uncontested or contested.
The only divorce that is truly uncontested is one where there is nothing left to determine between the parties. That means all assets, debts, property, support, custody, and visitation, if any of these are applicable, have been discussed and decided between the parties. You do not have to have it all in writing when you meet with us, but there should be nothing left for the attorney to do, but draft your paperwork and submit it to the court. If there is anything that is not agreed to between you and your spouse, then your divorce is contested. Any issue, no matter how small, can be enough to derail a divorce matter and make it go from uncontested to contested. That is why when we say every item should be determined between the parties, we mean that.
If after meeting with one of our experienced family law attorneys, is determined that you do in fact have an uncontested divorce, the first step is to make sure the separation period has been met. Typically, in Virginia, you must live separate and apart from your spouse for at least a year prior to filing for a no fault divorce. However, if there are no minor children and we have a fully executed separation agreement, a divorce can be filed after only six months of separation. The document that starts to divorce process is called the Complaint. It is filed at the courthouse. And once the court has processed the document, is returned for service on the other spouse.
We are also often asked how long an uncontested divorce can take in Virginia? Or every case is different and every court is different, typically, it can take a few months for all the paperwork to be drafted, sent to the court, reviewed by the judge and finally entered. Lastly, we are also asked how much an uncontested divorce will cost. Again, each case is different. While we cannot guarantee a certain amount that this will cost, we here at Holcomb Law do everything we can to keep costs down for all of our clients.
When you meet with your attorney, they will listen to your facts and have a better idea of the costs for your case. If you believe you have an uncontested divorce, or you aren’t sure, I encourage you to contact Holcomb Law today, and schedule your no hassle, legal strategy meeting with one of our experienced family law attorneys.