How to Start
My Uncontested Divorce

Begin the Conversation; Get Affairs in Order; Find the Right Lawyer

Start your divorce by having all the big questions addressed and fully answered by both parties ahead of time.

It should be no surprise that for an uncontested divorce to proceed, full and open communication is a must. We cannot represent both parties in a divorce, but our agreements require complete truthfulness and full disclosure. Regardless of who does the hiring, we will not hold anything back from either party. This is why it is crucial for you to be in complete agreement before beginning the process—we are not here to advise. In fact, the only time we’ll give advice is when you have used a term incorrectly or in such a way it jeopardizes your agreement.

You and your spouse need to be honest with each other. That means everyone discloses everything. If it is discovered that you have not disclosed everything, you can be held accountable. On the other hand, there is an old legal maxim—equity does not reward those who slumber on their rights. You owe it to yourself to ask if you were disclosed everything and document that you in fact asked. Either way, not disclosing or not asking turns a quick, cheap divorce into a financial disaster.

Keep the lines of communication open. There is no quick divorce, no fast divorce, no easy divorce, no affordable divorce and certainly no cheap divorce if you and your spouse are not communicating.

Be fair with one another. You will need to look at each other’s most recent pay stubs and tax returns. You need to see, at least, the past year’s bank statements, credit card statements, pension and 401(k) statements.

Give your spouse a thumb drive of your downloaded financial statements. Bank, investment and credit card companies have online access and PDF files. Download account statements as far back as you can go. Ask your spouse to do so as well. If you don’t know why certain money was spent, ask questions.

Identify the legal owners of any shared debt on credit cards or loans, property titles (whether purchased, gifted, or
inherited), insurance policies, and, of course, your personal items.

Make sure what you do is in your child’s best interests. You know your kids. Evaluate their needs based on what you know. If you agree to have the child live with you most of the time, and you earn less than your spouse, your child needs monthly child support payments. You need the tax dependency exemption. Don’t give those up.

Set out a parenting schedule for each parent and each child. List the Holidays and the times when parenting time begins and ends. Decide who will pick up the children and drop them off. Identify where they will be dropped off. Take the whole year into consideration, including summer break and other times the kids won’t be in school.

Child Support & Expenses: Decide on a monthly child support amount paid to the parent who has the child(ren) most of the time. Take all things into consideration, such as who pays for health insurance, dental, and vision insurance, in-school and out-of-school activities, higher education, and more. The amounts and the duration of the payments are for you and your spouse to decide.