Checklist-Uncontested Divorce (No Kids)
Most people understand that an uncontested divorce is much cheaper than a contested divorce. Like a solar eclipse, uncontested divorces actually exist, but also like an eclipse, they are rare. The reason is simple, people that are divorcing are not usually 100% on the same page for all issues, hence the divorce. That does not mean that you are about to enter World War III, because most divorces start-off contested and eventually become uncontested. If you are looking for an uncontested divorce, use this checklist to see if your situation is truly “uncontested.” If there are contested or unknown issues, you should probably speak to a law firm to help you strategize how to resolve those issues.
Residency Requirements (Must answer “yes” for at least 1 below)
- Have you lived for more than 90 days in the County where you filed for divorce?
- Has your spouse lived for more than 90 days in the County where you filed for divorce?
Official Notice Completed
- Has your spouse filed an Appearance with the County Clerk?
Financial Information Exchanged
- Do both parties have full and complete access to all accounts of the other party?
Real Estate (house, land, condos, timeshares, etc.)
- Do you have a written agreement on how you intend to dispose of real property?
Debts and Liabilities
- Do you have a written agreement on how you intend to divide all debts that were acquired (regardless of title) during the marriage?
- Have you closed all joint debts (e.g., credit cards)?
- Are the parties able to divide the debts as agreed upon? For example, if someone is planning to refinance debt, have they been pre-approved or do they have the income and credit score to take on the agreed debt?
Pension and Retirement Accounts
- Do both parties have a full and complete understanding of the retirement accounts including amounts contributed and amounts expected to be available upon retirement after they are divorced?
- Do both parties understand the required documentation needed to obtain an interest in retirement accounts?
Personal Property and Bank Accounts
- Have you closed all joint accounts? (Note this is not required, but recommended for an easier transition)
- Have you divided all personal property between you and your spouse? If not, is there a plan in writing so that it is clear who is taking what items?
Income & Maintenance
- Do you know the full and complete income and assets of your spouse?
- Does your spouse know your full and complete income and assets?
- Do you have an agreement regarding maintenance?
- Do both parties understand what the statutory length and amounts of maintenance would be if the court awarded maintenance?
- Are there any other things that you want? If so, it is very important to have it clearly written in your Divorce Judgment because too many people leave important things to verbal “agreements” only to have things go wrong later.
Reminder, this list is not a substitute for speaking with an attorney about your specific situation. Use it as a guide to help you move forward with your decisions.