Uncontested Divorce Procedures

Divorce Papers > Divorce Procedures >Uncontested Divorce Procedures

An uncontested divorce (i.e. the divorcing partners have reached a consensus regarding all issues of the divorce before approaching the court) is certainly a method of terminating a marriage with privacy and dignity. The divorcing couple experiences peace of mind and the divorce process is less costly. So, it is advisable that although a couple finalizes to terminate their marital status, they must be amicable to one another. They must attempt to set their differences apart. This would prove beneficial not only to the divorcing couple but to the entire family.

Broad steps in Uncontested Divorce Procedures

  • The divorce petition is prepared and filed
  • The documents are served to the Respondent (Defendant)
  • The divorce waiting period must be completed (this is different in different states)
  • The divorce settlement and proposed order must be prepared and filed
  • The divorce hearing is attended (as and when required) during which agreement is confirmed
  • The divorce decree is entered

Waiting period in various states in Divorce Procedures

State Waiting period
West Virginia 1 year before decree
Virginia 6 months prior to decree
Vermont 6 months prior to decree
South Carolina 1 year before decree
North Carolina 1 year of separation before filing
New Jersey 18 months prior to decree
Nevada 1 year before filing
Montana 180 days before filing
Maryland 12 months before filing
Louisiana 180 days before filing
Kentucky 60 days prior to decree
Illinois 6 months prior to decree
Delaware 6 months prior to decree
Connecticut 18 months before filing
Arkansas 18 months prior to decree

Those states which have been omitted in the above list have no statutory requirement. The intention of arranging a waiting period is that to ensure that the divorcing couple is completely certain about terminating the marital life.

Prove-up Hearing in Uncontested Divorce Procedures

A prove-up hearing usually lasts for about five minutes and is the final step in the divorce process. During this hearing, the court reviews the marital settlement agreement. It confirms that both the divorcing partners have understood all the points stated in it and nothing has coerced them into this agreement, but they have done it voluntarily.

The court might throw short questions to the lawyers or the parties themselves regarding the agreement. When the Judge is satisfied that this agreement is voluntary and fair, the Judge signs the Divorce Decree and the Divorce is finalized.

Every state and county has laid down its own rules pertaining to a prove-up hearing. However, the commonly needed documents are as follows.

  • A copy of the quit-claim deed to the marital residence, if essential
  • A copy of the spousal support order, if any
  • Photo identification
  • A copy of the child support order
  • Some copies of the marital settlement agreement

Marital Settlement Agreement

This agreement comprises of the following topics.

  • The distribution of the marital debt
  • The distribution of the marital residence
  • The distribution of financial assets (inclusive of retirement accounts)
  • Spousal Support (the amount of support or the statement of waiver)
  • Child support
  • A visitation schedule
  • Legal and residential custody

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