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Uncontested Divorce Attorney in Sacramento, California

The ending of a relationship is never a stress-free event. When it comes to divorce—or the dissolution of a legal union—other factors play a huge part. For instance, there may be what is called marital property: anything acquired by either partner during the time of union. There also may be children whose custody and support can factor into any dissolution settlement.  

A dissolution of a marriage or legal partnership can proceed on one of two grounds in California: fault, whereby one partner/spouse is accused of causing the rift, and no fault, where irreconcilable differences are cited as the reason. In addition, a dissolution can either be contested in court or settled outside of court in what is called an uncontested divorce.  

If you are involved in divorce proceedings in or around Sacramento, California, contact me at the Abdallah Law, A.P.C. I have been practicing family law for more than a decade and have helped countless couples work toward a settlement agreement to avoid the costs and public proceedings of a court battle.  

In addition to the Sacramento area, I also proudly serve clients throughout Placer County, San Joaquin County, Eldorado County, Yolo County, Solano County, and Alameda County. 

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What Is an Uncontested Divorce? 

In simple terms, an uncontested divorce means that both sides come to an agreement outside of the courtroom, or one party to the divorce who is served papers decides not to respond. In that case, the court will likely render a default judgment, giving the petitioner whatever he or she requested in the divorce filing. However, community property and other considerations will also play a factor before a default judgment can be rendered. 

The more appropriate use of the term ‘uncontested divorce’ refers to a process by which the spouses/partners work together to iron out the details of life after the dissolution of the marriage. The settlement agreement must cover every angle of the dissolution—division of assets, possible spousal or child support, custody of any children whether joint or sole, and parenting rights for the noncustodial parent. Any child support agreement must accord with California’s child support guidelines. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Uncontested Divorces

An uncontested divorce obviously has several advantages. Not only will it save court and attorney costs, but it will also allow the spouses or partners to agree amicably to the terms of the division of assets, custody, parenting rights, and spousal or child support. Of course, the agreement will have to be submitted to the family law court for approval, but if it is not too one-sided, it should pass. 

The problem, however, lies in getting to the settlement agreement. Both sides may harbor grudges and want to get even, or they may be too emotionally drained to sit down and negotiate.  Discussions might quickly devolve into squabbles and arguments, with little or no progress being made. This is where having legal counsel advise and guide you can play a vital role in getting to the final agreement. 

Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in California

There are three factors that typically must be present to pursue and implement an uncontested divorce in California: 

  • One spouse must have lived in California for six months and the previous three months lived in the county where the divorce is taking place. 

  • Both spouses must be willing and able to sign all the necessary paperwork. 

  • Both spouses must agree on all issues involved (assets, custody, support, and so on).

The Divorce Process in California

One spouse or partner, known as the ‘petitioner,’ will file the initial divorce papers with the court in the county where he or she lives. The other spouse/partner is known as the ‘respondent.’ In the scenario where one spouse is seeking the divorce either through fault or no-fault, but the other spouse is not cooperating or on board, two things can happen. The respondent can reply and initiate either contested or uncontested proceedings—or that person can just ignore the paperwork. 

The problem with ignoring the paperwork is that the petitioner can request a default judgment if the respondent doesn’t respond within 30 days. The terms requested by the petitioner may then be granted by the court, provided they meet legal standards such as the division of assets under community property laws. 

If the spouse does respond and the petitioner files for an uncontested divorce, then the details of everything can be presented in a settlement document for court approval. In fact, the document may already have been submitted along with the dissolution filing. 

Uncontested Divorce Attorney in Sacramento, California

If you are considering divorce, have been served with papers, or are already involved in the dissolution, contact me at the Abdallah Law, A.P.C. if you’re anywhere near Sacramento. An uncontested divorce not only saves time and money but also leads to a more positive post-dissolution relationship between the parties. Let’s work together on forging an uncontested divorce settlement.