Getting a divorce is one of the top five most stressful events that can occur during your life. However, with the guidance of an experienced legal team and a little preparation, achieving a happy and healthy divorce is possible. The attorneys at Balekian Hayes, PLLC, have tapped into their many years of experience practicing family law in North Texas to offer tips to achieve an uncontested divorce.
According to Kris Balekian Hayes, managing partner at Balekian Hayes, PLLC, “I always say that there is no such thing as an agreed divorce, but it’s only agreed if you reach an understanding on each and everything. To avoid feeling like you have been taken advantage of, it’s best to go into the process with the expectation of a 50/50 split. To achieve an agreed divorce, it is best to fully disclose all assets and liabilities exchanged before you agree. Total transparency is necessary to avoid a contested divorce.”
Kris Balekian Hayes shares a few tips on how to successfully achieve an uncontested divorce:
Be prepared to agree on everything with your ex.
Uncontested divorces are designed for couples willing to agree on the same thing regarding important decisions during a divorce, such as child custody, spousal support, and property division. Couples can create their own divorce agreement or rely on state-provided forms; however, some states’ uncontested divorce forms may require that both parties agree to give up their rights to alimony.
Get organized and create an inventory of assets.
As soon as you decide to file for divorce make copies of your files and create a detailed inventory of household items to limit disputes over assets’ division.
Hire your own representation.
It may not seem like there will be anything to fight about if you are both on the same page but hiring your own lawyer to represent your interests is recommended. It’s essential to choose a divorce lawyer wisely because the decision will ultimately impact your bottom line. There is no such thing as the perfect lawyer, but there is the perfect lawyer for you. The best lawyer is one that is experienced, knowledgeable, and fits your needs. As the client, you can set the tone for your divorce. Your lawyer is there to advise you and respect your position on approaching the negotiations.
Just because a lawyer is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean they will honor your wishes. Some firms will often honor your every wish knowing that you have no chance of prevailing. Others will advise against specific actions knowing they are not cost-effective. Because different clients have different needs, it’s essential to choose the attorney that best suits your priorities.
To help you achieve an uncontested divorce, your lawyer will help look over all legal documents and forms or may draft your divorce agreement. Most importantly, your representation will be available to advise you about specific questions or concerns that you may not even be aware of during your divorce.
If contested issues arise while working on the divorce agreement and division of property, rather than let the uncontested divorce escalate into a contested divorce, the parties can hire a mediator to help them resolve any issues. Hiring a mediator will add additional costs but, the mediation fees will be less than pursuing a contested divorce.
Keep calm and don’t rush the process
There are not many benefits of rushing through the divorce process. Everyone involved needs time to adjust to the changes that come with a divorce. By taking your time, you can make smart and precise decisions that will be sustainable for the future. It’s important to understand that the average divorce is completed anywhere from six to twelve months. It is considered final as soon as the judge pronounces it so in open court and signs the divorce decree.
The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer.