Uncontested divorces are where two people are able to make an agreement on the following marital issues: the figures and length of time for spousal support, how to establish child custody times and dates, the amount of child support to be paid, the division of property, and how to handle debts. When these conditions are met, the couple can go through what can be a largely pain-free divorce process, one that is without repeated and costly court visits. This is not to say that there is not a process that needs to be followed. Though it can be uncomplicated, there are steps to go through when getting an uncontested divorce.
After couples resolve the primary issues and terms of their divorce between themselves, they have to prepare the initial divorce papers. The “plaintiff,” the spouse who initiates the process, will have the “defendant” served. The two documents they will need to collect from the county clerk’s office are the Complaint and Summons, and this paperwork will outline the basics of the uncontested divorce, including outlining the need to be in agreement on the terms of the divorce.
From there, couples will prepare a settlement agreement, not an informal one, but one that is in writing. The informal agreement on the issues of property division, alimony, and child custody becomes codified once it is filed with the county clerk. The clerk will take the original signed document and give both individuals photocopies of the documents.
The next step is for the plaintiff to serve the defendant with a divorce petition. If the defendant willingly signs the Acceptance and Waiver of Service, a document that acknowledges that they have received the papers, then you have the option of mailing the divorce papers to your spouse or having a process server or sheriff hand deliver the documents. After that the court will need you to submit proof of the fact that the defendant has received the divorce papers.
There are some additional forms that you will need to complete, including a Vital Statistics Form, an Affidavit of Residency, and the Testimony of Plaintiff. If there are children in the marriage, you will have to complete six additional documents:
- Child Support Guideline Notice of Compliance
- Child Support Guideline Form
- Child Support Obligation Income Statement
- Child Support Information Sheet
- Certificate of attendance and completion of the Children Cope with Divorce seminar
- And a Standing Pre-trial Order
These documents can be picked up at the county clerk’s office, where you can also receive information about your particular county’s procedures and requirements for divorce. Finally, once all of your paperwork has been submitted to the court, a thirty-day cooling off period will occur, to make sure that the couple truly wants to go through with the divorce. If divorce is the final option, then the judge will grant your divorce. Of all the possible options, an uncontested divorce in Elmore County is the most desirable option for divorces. It is low cost, and fairly simple to complete.