Your spouse isn’t the easiest person to get along with. If they were, you probably wouldn’t be getting a divorce, right?

Does that mean that an uncontested divorce is off the table? Not really. Even difficult spouses often come to realize the wisdom of agreeing to an uncontested divorce instead of going to litigation.

What’s an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one where the parties manage to settle any disagreements regarding the practical aspects of their split without the court’s intervention. In other words, even if you and your ex can’t stand to be in the same room together, you can manage to agree how to best split up the marital property, how to manage the custody of the children (if there are any) and so on.

Why do uncontested divorces make sense?

If you’ve really had it with your spouse’s antics, you may think, “Why not let a judge make all the calls?” Well, there are several reasons:

  • You may not get what you expect (or need) out of the divorce. When spouses negotiate directly with one another, they’re free to use creativity in their deals and negotiate what matters to each of them the most. Judges are often inclined to take a “cookie-cutter” approach that won’t suit anybody very well.
  • You may leave the situation less angry. That may or may not be important to you, but if you have children with your spouse, the negotiation process can help the two of you embark on a different kind of partnership even as your old partnership is ending.
  • You have better control over your expenses. Divorce is expensive. There’s no denying that. But working with your spouse (instead of fighting about everything through your attorneys and a pile of court motions) can help you preserve more of your marital assets — which you may both need in order to move forward.

None of this is to say, of course, that you should be a pushover and let your spouse have everything that they want just to avoid a legal fight. Talk over your goals for your divorce with your attorney early in the process so that you have a firm idea of what you will (and will not) negotiate.