Divorce is always a challenge, no matter how much the parties appear to agree on many details of the marital property settlement and child custody. The concept of a No Contest divorce sounds very appealing to those who believe they are ending the marriage amicably. However, the best divorce lawyers will tell you there are both pros and cons to this type of divorce.
How it works
A No Contest (or uncontested) divorce is a divorce in which both parties agree that they have no issues that need to be settled by a court. Both parties believe they can agree on division of property (real estate, retirement funds, savings accounts, investments and businesses), spousal support and/or alimony (if any), and child support, custody and visitation. Because the parties do not need a court to make decisions for them, it is possible to save money on court costs and legal fees.
The pros of No Contest divorce
We have already mentioned a major benefit of No Contest divorce, which is saving money that both parties would have to spend in a contested divorce. Even if you go before a judge and the judge returns a decision that is favorable to you, it is likely to cost you in court fees and fees paid to your attorney.
Another benefit is the time you will save in completing the divorce. A No Contest divorce usually moves more quickly because it is not tied to a court schedule.
Successfully completing an uncontested divorce may result in a more positive relationship after the divorce. If children are involved, this could be an important benefit as you and your ex learn how to parent differently.
The cons of a No Contest divorce
The first con of a No Contest divorce is that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Navigating a divorce with little or no guidance from an experienced divorce attorney presents so many challenges, such as:
- Understanding and complying with the Pennsylvania court system (required even in a No Contest divorce);
- Knowing what settlement amounts are fair given your needs and circumstances;
- Knowledge of child custody arrangements and their ramifications, which the best child custody lawyer acquires through experience in these matters.
Second, you will need to agree on everything in a No Contest divorce, and as many people have found out, this is extremely rare in a divorce. As you go down the path of a No Contest divorce, it is highly likely that the parties will disagree on some aspect of financial settlement and/or child custody, as money and children are highly emotional triggers in every relationship.
The third con is that, in an effort to move the No Contest divorce along, you may agree to something that will be detrimental to your household or financial future. You need to bear in mind that you and your spouse have certain rights and obligations under Pennsylvania law, and it is in your interest to have the best child support lawyer guiding you with the full force of his or her knowledge and experience.
If you are considering a No Contest divorce in Pennsylvania, it is important to contact Perna & Abracht LLC so they can draft settlement documents, which are complex legal agreements that will have an impact on you and your children for many years to come.