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Uncontested divorce and property division – seven things to learn

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An uncontested divorce or as it also called “amicable dissolution’ is a way to peacefully dissolve a marriage, in which the spouses decide all family disagreements outside the walls of the court. The uncontested divorce is a great solution, due to which spouses can relatively quickly and cheaply terminate their marriage. And of course, this kind of separation is available in every state. The main feature of an amicable dissolution is that the husband and wife can independently resolve any disagreements that affect their marriage. The spouses must resolve crucial issues such as the division of common property, assets, debts, and custody of common children, alimony and financial support for the child before the first court hearing of their case takes place. However, the list of these questions may be increased, depending on the circumstances of the marriage termination. In other words, any controversial issues that exist between a husband and wife must be resolved by both spouses. Nevertheless, there are several other essential aspects that you need to know when there is a separation of property in an uncontested divorce.

Settlement Agreement. This is one of the important documents of an amicable divorce; without it, it is impossible to get the final solution. Thanks to the settlement agreement, dissolution ends so quickly. Because in essence, it regulates the resolution of all disputed issues of the couple. And of course, how spouses want to share property is also part of a settlement agreement. This document is essential since the judge relies on it when making a decision. Thus, all disputed issues should be described as accurately as possible, especially the division of property, because after the judge grants a divorce, the provisions of the division cannot be changed.

For example, in Utah, you cannot reopen an order for property division after a divorce is final, according to https://www.onlinedivorce.com/divorce/utah/.

So it is crucial to think over your decision in detail and correctly draw up an agreement. Do not rush things, in the matter of signing a settlement agreement; haste is not appropriate.

Marital Property. Since we are talking about the division of property in a divorce, it is worth understanding that spouses can only divide the marital (common) property. In other words, all that they have acquired from the date of marriage conclusion until the date of the final decree. Also, pay attention to an important nuance, even if you have not lived with your spouse for a long time and are in the process of termination, everything that you acquire until the judge signs the divorce decree will still be considered joint property.

Separate Property. This is another type of property that spouses can own, but which is not subject to division. Separate property is everything that the spouses acquired before the marriage. Or any gift and inheritance that any spouse received while being married. This property will not be divided in the process of divorce. But there is also a nuance. Any separate property that was used by both spouses in the marriage that led to increasing of its value may become marital property. For example, the wife had a family house before marriage. However, after the wedding, the husband watched the house, fixed or upgraded it, in general, made efforts to improve the house. In this case, the wife’s house will become common property, and the spouses will also have to decide its separation.

Community Property. The division of property occurs based on state law in which the divorce takes place. Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, DC, Wisconsin are community property states, according to https://www.investopedia.com/personal-finance/which-states-are-community-property-states/.

This means that the laws of these states imply that all marital property must be divided in half. Although in the case of uncontested divorce, the couple may deviate from this belief. Spouses can negotiate such a proportion of separation, which is convenient in their separate case, for example, 40/60. Again, this is possible because the husband and wife enter into a settlement agreement and independently regulate the process of their separation, deviating in one way or another from the standards established by the state. The judge will approve such a decision if both spouses are in agreement.

Equitable Distribution. All the rest of the state, except the nine above, are based on a system of equitable division of property. That does not mean that the marital property will be divided evenly, although this option might occur if it is fair. With a fair distribution, the spouses decide how the marital property will be divided, based on the contribution each spouse made to the acquisition and maintenance of this property. Even though the husband and wife independently decide and agree on how they want to divide the assets if the judge recognizes such an agreement as unfair, he will not sign the divorce decree. And the spouses will either have to redo the settlement agreement or participate in the court hearings in order for the judge to make a final decision on the division of property.

Prenuptial agreement. This is a contract that helps spouses resolve any disputes regarding a property in a divorce or other unforeseen situation. It is an excellent airbag because based on this document, spouses can share property in case of marriage dissolution without any difficulties and problems. A prenuptial agreement is concluded before the wedding, and it usually takes a long time to draw it up correctly; also, qualified lawyers must work on it. In many cases, the courts take into account the marriage contract when a divorce case is being heard.

Postnuptial agreement. This is another document that regulates the property interests of the spouses in the event of divorce. And suitable for those who did not have a chance to sign a prenuptial contract. A postnup is prepared after the wedding ceremony when the marriage took effect. Although it is believed that the postnuptial agreement has less power in comparison with a prenup, it is still a good option to divide the property in case of an uncontested and contested divorce.

Uncontested divorce has many advantages, from the simplicity of the procedure to a relatively low price. But the issue of separation of marital property is always acute, even if the spouses are willing to end the marriage peacefully. If you want the divorce to be uncontested, then you should carefully discuss all options for resolving controversial issues. It is also useful to understand the law to know your rights. Besides, any of your decision, you should draw up on paper. Any agreement you can make with your spouse will be a useful tool in the property division process.




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