Marriage is hard, and many of them do not last. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the spouses have to become enemies. Oftentimes, a marriage will end through no fault of either party. The two people simply grow apart or begin wanting different things. When this happens, the best course of action is usually an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is a legal term used to describe an amicable or even friendly divorce, where the couple can still work together to get what they want.
Uncontested Vs. Contested
The main difference between contested and uncontested divorces is a willingness to cooperate on a few key issues. If the couple can agree on these issues without legal intervention, they can save time, court appearances, and money. First, both parties agree that the marriage is ending due to circumstances that neither party is legally responsible for. They officially list the cause of the divorce as “irreconcilable differences.” This simply indicates that whatever issues the couple is facing, neither side can change the other’s mind. They decide they would rather not stay married to each other, and that’s all the court needs to know.
The next issues the couple must agree on relate to their children, their assets, and whether spousal support will be necessary. As you might imagine, all of these issues can become complicated or contentious. For instance, there are three types of spousal support the couple might agree to. Also, the division of assets and debts may require mediation and arbitration. And finally, the plans regarding custody, child support, and parenting schedules must be airtight. If the couple is unable or unwilling to agree on any of these issues, they must file for a contentious divorce and solve their disputes in court.
Child Custody, Support, and Parenting Schedules
For this article, we will look at the issues the couple must agree on regarding their children in an uncontested divorce. We will discuss the types of custody, the determining factors for custody, and why legal custody through an uncontested divorce can be most beneficial.
Types of Child Custody
There are two types of custody parents must agree on; legal custody, and the parenting plan. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions regarding the children, such as where they attend school and what kind of non-emergency health care they receive. Legal custody can be held jointly if both parents agree on these kinds of decisions. If not, one parent must have sole legal custody. The parenting plan includes the residential schedule for the children; in other words, when they reside with each parent. This includes the regular weekly schedule, both during the school year and during summer, winter, and spring vacations, as well as other holidays and vacations. The parenting plan will reflect the unique circumstances of each family, including the parents’ work schedules, and should be based on the best interests of the children.
Determining Factors For Legal Custody
In the case of legal custody, the court’s allegiance is first and foremost to the child. The parents’ wishes (and even the child’s wishes) are secondary to what the court will consider the child’s best interest. To achieve this, the court will look at several factors, including:
- Which parent has been the primary caregiver
- Which parent will foster a positive relationship between the children and the other parent
- Each parent’s attitude and emotional ties toward the child and parenting in general
- Criminal records or abuse allegations
Why Legal Custody Through Uncontested Divorce Can Be Beneficial
With an uncontested divorce, you can make the best out of a bad situation. The marriage will end, but family harmony can remain intact. This is achieved by less contentious arguments and less money spent on ongoing court proceedings. Instead, that money can be spent on the needs of the children. Furthermore, children who see their parents go through an amicable divorce often learn valuable lessons about sharing, cooperation, and compromise.
Since every aspect of an uncontested divorce must be agreed upon by the parents, open communication is a must, as is positive decision-making on behalf of the children. Because these elements are put at the forefront, the parents tend to co-parent more effectively. Joint legal custody and a parenting plan that provides ample time for the children with both parents are expected outcomes of a less contentious uncontested divorce. Effective co-parenting leads to happier, more well-adjusted kids. The benefits of a little compromise can last a lifetime.
To learn more about the benefits of an uncontested divorce, call the experts at Flat Fee Divorce Oregon at (503) 233-8868.