An uncontested divorce can be finalized in a few months. Sometimes, the process takes no longer than several weeks. The duration of your case depends on how quickly you and your spouse can prepare and file all the necessary documents and the judge’s availability to review everything.
In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree on property division, child custody, alimony, and other issues. Going to court is unnecessary because the couple negotiates the terms of the agreement without significant conflict.
Once you file for divorce, the judge will review the documentation you file and the details of your separation to determine whether the paperwork is in order. They will likely sign the final divorce decree without expecting you and your spouse to appear in court. However, some judges require an oral hearing with the divorcing couple before approving the proposed decree.
Legal Requirements to File for an Uncontested Divorce
You can’t file for an uncontested divorce unless you meet these requirements:
- Residential requirement – You or your spouse must be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia for at least six months before filing for divorce.
- Separation requirement – You and your spouse must have lived separately and apart without interruption and cohabitation for at least one year if you share minor children or at least six months if you don’t.
- Settlement agreement requirement – You must have a separation agreement covering issues such as the division of property and debts, alimony, and if you have kids, child custody and support. You can’t file for an uncontested divorce without settling these matters first.
Prepare Uncontested Divorce Forms
Pursuing an uncontested divorce requires completing various forms and filing them with the court. You must ensure every document is complete and accurate. Forgetting a form or including the wrong information can delay the process.
Which forms you must complete depend on the circumstances of your divorce, such as whether you and your spouse have kids together. However, the documents necessary in most uncontested divorces include:
- Divorce complaint – The person initiating the divorce must prepare and file a complaint. The divorce complaint contains information about what you’re requesting. Although your spouse doesn’t contest the divorce, they are still considered a defendant. They don’t have to sign the complaint. They should receive a copy.
- Domestic case cover sheet – A domestic case cover sheet includes basic details regarding the divorce, including the type of divorce, information about you and your spouse, and whether you hired lawyers.
- Affidavit of Moving Party in Divorce Proceeding – You must verify under oath that you meet the separation and residential requirements by signing the affidavit before a notary public.
- Acceptance/waiver of service of process – You don’t have to go through a formal process of serving your spouse with the complaint when you file for an uncontested divorce. You can make copies of the documents and have your spouse sign the waiver in front of a notary public.
- Proposed divorce decree – You and your spouse must sign the proposed final divorce decree. File it with your separation agreement attached and include all necessary forms.
Speak to a Dedicated Divorce Attorney Today
Although you and your spouse are on good terms, hiring an experienced Virginia Beach divorce attorney is beneficial. Pincus Goodman, P.C., can assist you in finalizing the terms of your separation agreement and filing every form with the court. You will have a compassionate and skilled legal team to provide guidance and support during this challenging time in your life.
If you want to learn more about filing for an uncontested divorce, call us at (757) 301-9634 for a confidential consultation with a Virginia Beach divorce attorney.