From time to time, I will get a call from someone asking about the costs of an uncontested divorce. This is a very simple question with a very elaborate and lawyerly answer. First and foremost, it depends. Prices may vary depending on whether there are children, a boatload of debt, or even a boatload of boats. The most common cost increase for uncontested divorces is that - in the end - the divorce is actually contested and the parties don't realize it yet. The notion of an uncontested divorce in Family Law is a misnomer as it is a true rarity in the field.
The first question I ask my potential client is if they have already divided all of their assets and debts. Most commonly, the answer is a resounding "no, but we both want the divorce and we don't want to go to trial." Agreement on the divorce does not make your divorce uncontested. To be truly uncontested, there must be zero dispute as to how all of your assets and debts will be split. And, if children are involved, there is really no such thing as an uncontested divorce.
One can't really fault the client for thinking they had an uncontested divorce. With all of the confusing and contradicting legalese involved in Family Law, its difficult for even lawyers to understand what is truly happening. Just know, even if you and your spouse agree on a divorce, if you both want the house or your antique set of silverware, your litigation will not be uncontested. And, frankly, that's okay. Chances are, if you could agree on everything, you likely would be getting divorced. At Magnuson Lowell, we can help you understand the birds and the bees of divorce and help make your transition that much easier.