Every divorce in Tampa has its own unique process, and some are way more difficult than others. This is particularly true when there are significant issues to iron out. However, there are certain divorces where these issues are worked out between you and your spouse. This path, known as an uncontested divorce, is much more expedient–and hopefully, more fair.
Regardless of the path you choose, divorce is a deeply emotional experience, causing a loss of identity and affecting loved ones, including children. Your choices now can have long-lasting impacts. While not legally required, consulting with our team of Tampa divorce lawyers is wise to safeguard your interests and grasp the process before trying to face the situation on your own. Contact us today to set up a one-on-one consultation.
What Makes a Divorce Uncontested in Tampa?
As the name suggests, a Tampa divorce is considered “uncontested” if both you and your spouse agree on the major issues from your divorce, like division of the property, child custody, or alimony payments.
In this type of divorce, there is no need for a trial or court intervention to resolve these matters because the spouses have reached a consensus. This consensus is usually formalized in a:
- Written settlement agreement
Usually, the process can take up to six weeks to finalize, assuming you and your spouse agree to all the major terms. Other times, the process can be even quicker. This is sometimes called an “expedited” divorce, and could wrap up as quickly as 30 days from start to finish.
The main benefit of an uncontested divorce is that it allows the process to play out in a quick, efficient manner. Still, there are a number of other benefits in this type of divorce:
- Cost-effective – Uncontested divorces tend to be less expensive as they involve less legal work and court time.
- Reduced stress – With no courtroom battles, the emotional stress is generally lower, making it easier on both spouses and any children involved.
- Privacy – Uncontested divorces often remain more private, as they do not involve lengthy court proceedings and public hearings.
- Control – Both spouses have more control over the outcome since they are the ones making decisions rather than leaving them to a judge.
- Co-parenting – It can create a more amicable post-divorce relationship, which is particularly beneficial when there are children involved.
- Simplified legal process – Uncontested divorces have simplified paperwork and fewer legal formalities, making them more accessible for many people.
- Quicker closure – With fewer legal hurdles, uncontested divorces can offer a faster resolution, allowing both parties to move on with their lives sooner.
As with any divorce, It’s important to note that the specific benefits can vary depending on the circumstances of the divorce and the willingness of you and your spouse to cooperate and reach agreements with each other. And as you may know, things can sometimes change quickly during the course of a divorce.
When Does a Tampa Divorce Go From Uncontested to Contested?
Not surprisingly, a Tampa divorce can go from being uncontested to contested very quickly. Generally speaking, this happens at any point when you and your spouse change your mind or disagree on some major issue involved. While every divorce is different, some of the reasons that a divorce can shift to being contested include disagreements on:
- Property or debt division – When you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement on how to distribute your assets and debts, the divorce transforms into a contested one.
- Child custody and visitation – If issues concerning child custody, visitation, and parenting arrangements become sources of disagreement, the divorce is no longer uncontested.
- Alimony – When you can’t reach a consensus on spousal support or alimony, the divorce becomes contested.
- Child support – Differing opinions on child support payments can change an uncontested divorce into a contested one.
- Any other unresolved matters – Any significant issues that you and your spouse can’t agree on can result in a contested divorce, and could involve legal intervention for resolution.
When a divorce becomes contested, it often goes through legal processes like negotiations, mediation, or even a court trial to settle disagreements. If you’re thinking about changing your written agreement in Tampa, this is possible, but it’s a good idea to consult with our lawyers for assistance in handling the complexities of a contested divorce.
That said, modifying a divorce involves a specific procedure, including:
- Grounds for modification – You need a valid reason to modify a divorce order. Common reasons may include changes in income, child custody arrangements, or other significant life changes.
- File a petition – To initiate the modification process, you’ll need to file a petition in the same court where your divorce was finalized. We can assist you with the legal paperwork.
- Notification – Next, you’ll have to officially notify your ex-spouse about the petition. They have the right to respond to the proposed changes, and their input is often considered in court.
- Negotiation or mediation – In some cases, it’s possible to reach an agreement with your ex-spouse through negotiation or mediation. This can save on court costs.
- Court hearings – If an agreement can’t be reached, a court hearing will be scheduled with the judge. We’ll present your side of the case, and the judge will make a decision.
- Legal documentation – If the court approves the modification, new legal documents will be created reflecting the changes to the divorce agreement.
- Enforcement – Once the court order is modified, all parties involved must adhere to the new terms. Not doing so will result in stiff penalties.
As you navigate this process, it’s extremely important to remember that effective communication with our team and your ex-spouse is crucial. Make sure to keep us apprised of any changes, and we’ll make sure to be by your side and fight for your interests.
Get Help From Serious Tampa Divorce Lawyers
Going through a divorce is hard, even if you and your spouse are able to be amicable. Our team at Robert Sparks Attorneys in Tampa is serious about helping you. We understand the seriousness of your situation and are here to provide steady support throughout the process.
Your divorce will affect your future, and we’re committed to standing by your side, fighting for your rights, and working for a positive outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.