3 Keys to an Efficient Uncontested Divorce – by Brandon C. Waltrip, Esq.
When you have made the difficult decision to part ways with a spouse, you want to resolve things as easily and efficiently as possible. Often times this is also the most economical. In this blog, I lay out three keys to an efficient un-contested divorce. These Keys can also be applied to a contested divorce. They are to Communicate, Compromise, and Consider. I believe if you practice these keys, whether in a contested or uncontested divorce, your matter will be resolved efficiently as possible.
One of the most important aspects of an efficient divorce is communication. Its important not just what you communicate, but also how you communicate. Some attorneys prefer you call and leave messages, others prefer email, or meeting with their para-legals, some prefer a combination of both. In my practice I prefer clients schedule appointments to sit down with me in person, or speak to me on the phone. If possible I ask clients to send an email before hand with a list of questions or topics they wish to discuss. This ensures we are making the most efficient use of their time and money.
It is also important what you communicate. At the beginning of a divorce you want to communicate what your goals are for resolving the matter. Whether that is a specific custody/visitation schedule with your children, or the beach house and a portion of a spouses retirement. If you do not communicate your goals, an attorney can only guess what you may or may not agree to during negotiations. It is also important when issuing discovery to know what are the client’s priorities. This can change depending on fault based vs. no-fault divorces. It can also change depending on how important certain assets or matters are in the divorce. By communicating, you can ensure your divorce goes as efficiently and often as inexpensive as possible.
Compromise is one of the most, if not the most important key to an efficient divorce. If you are unwilling to compromise on the division of assets, or creative ways of ensuring both parties spend significant time with the children, then your divorce may take a very long time. It’s important that you designate at the outset the matters you are unwilling to compromise on, so that your attorney can narrow the issues and help you focus on achieving the goals and outcome you desire. It is also important because some matters in the divorce may be resolved by agreement and others left to a mediator, judge, or further negotiation. This will ensure you are using your time and money on the matters that are most important and not on ancillary matters that are not important.
Finally, consider the advice of your attorney. It is likely you are paying your advocate a substantial sum of money to ensure your legal rights are protected. Your attorney possesses the legal knowledge to ensure that you receive a fair and equitable division of your marital assets. Many times friends and family members, with the best of intentions, will offer their advice on the situation; however, failing to consider your attorneys advice, despite what a friend may have told you, may waste substantial resources and time in your divorce. Be careful of on-line “divorce forums” or “internet legal advice.” While there is a lot of good information today via the internet, the attorney you hire knows the specific facts of your case, the law of your jurisdiction, the history of how judges have ruled, and what mediators will recommend. All of this will ultimately shape how the facts of your case are applied to determine the ultimate outcome.
If you are going through a divorce and wish to handle matters as efficiently as possible, remember to Communicate, Compromise, and Consider. Applying each of these will make the uncontested divorce process clearer and less of an emotional and financial burden. If you apply these Keys, I think you will find they will assist in resolving disputes rather than creating new ones. If you are considering an attorney, please contact Brandon Waltrip, Esq., at Collins Waltrip, PC, in Williamsburg, Virginia and let us work to ensure you have an efficient uncontested divorce process.