By Troy Demuth:
No one gets married to get a divorce, but unfortunately not all marriages last and sometimes a divorce may be necessary. We have all heard of the horrible divorces where the husband and wife fight about everything, the children are traumatized, and the attorneys’ fees are enormous. In other words, a complete disaster.
However, when many are contemplating a divorce, they want it to be as easy and peaceful as possible. They buy into the concept that they do not want to make a bad situation worse, pay unnecessary attorney fees or damage their children’s emotional welfare. They may also need to preserve some form of cordial relationship if they have children and need to cooperate to effectively parent the kids for months or years to come. If they believe that they can agree on terms of separation and divorce, an uncontested divorce may be an option.
An uncontested divorce is when all issues between the parties are agreed upon and can be written into a divorce settlement Agreement. This is a less expensive option that allows the parties to negotiate between themselves property and debt division and parenting issues. This generally works best if there remains a level of trust between the parties and both are seeking fairness.
If the parties are in full agreement, one of them can retain an attorney to draft the necessary documents to obtain a divorce. In Kentucky, that would require the following documents: 1) a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage; 2) an Answer or Consent and Waiver for the other party to sign; 3) a Verified Financial Disclosure Form; 4) a Verified Financial Disclosure Acknowledgement; 5) the Settlement Agreement; 6) the Written Proof Interrogatories; and 7) the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
The attorney should have the knowledge and experience to ensure the documents are drafted appropriately and the legal rules are followed to obtain the Final Decree. If only one attorney is retained, that attorney can only represent one of the parties. Thus, it is recommended, but not required, for the other party to hire an attorney to review the documents to make sure the Settlement Agreement is fair to them.
Once the necessary documents are filed with the Court, the judge will review the financial disclosures and Settlement Agreement to ensure the agreement is fair. If there is no concern by the judge, then after the required time of separation is met, the judge will enter the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. Again, the attorney involved in the case can make sure that all of the necessary requirements are met and the matter goes as smoothly as possible.