What are the 5 Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce?

What are the 5 Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce?

Divorce is a challenging process, often filled with stress, time constraints, and financial strain. Divorce proceedings can become more complex when spouses cannot agree on major issues like child custody, support, or asset division. However, uncontested divorces, where both parties agree on all aspects, offer a streamlined, cost-effective, and emotionally manageable alternative to litigation. This article will explore uncontested divorces, identify suitable candidates, and examine their advantages and disadvantages.

What is An Uncontested Divorce?

To understand uncontested divorces, it’s important to grasp the concept of contested divorces. In contested divorces, spouses cannot agree on terms, which can range from simple issues like who keeps a gift to complex matters like holiday custody schedules. Common areas of contention in a divorce include property division, spousal support, custody, and child support. Contested divorces involve court and typically incur higher costs, take longer to resolve, and inflict greater emotional strain.

In contrast, uncontested divorces occur when both parties mutually agree on all divorce-related matters — eventually. In the USA, at least 90% of all divorce are uncontested. But many divorces start out as contested and then the spouses eventually reach an agreement.

While it’s advised to always seek the advice of an attorney in all divorce proceedings, it’s particularly crucial in contested cases to protect individual interests. Initiating divorce proceedings should prompt open communication with your spouse to address issues amicably. Even though the marital relationship may have dissolved, ending on friendly terms is not unattainable. Certain factors, such as shared children or jointly owned property, may necessitate ongoing ties post-divorce. Addressing these issues through amicable discussions can alleviate the need for contentious legal battles and courtroom disputes. Open dialogue and mutual agreement offer a pathway to smoother, less adversarial divorce proceedings, potentially sparing both parties significant time, expense, and emotional turmoil.

Check out “What’s the Difference between a Contested Divorce and an Uncontested Divorce?

Advantages to an Uncontested Divorce

There are several advantages associated with opting for an uncontested divorce, making it an appealing choice for most couples. Uncontested divorces offer simplicity, speed, cost-effectiveness, and foster a healthier environment for families to heal and move forward.

    1. Simplified Process

      Uncontested divorces provide a straightforward alternative to lengthy court battles. Court proceedings can be tedious and costly, with separate court dates required for each disputed issue. By engaging in open dialogue with your spouse and addressing divorce matters directly, or through your lawyers, you allow each other the opportunity to express needs and concerns. This direct communication often facilitates compromise and resolution, ultimately avoiding the stress and strain of courtroom confrontations.

    2. Cost-Effectiveness

      Uncontested divorces are significantly less expensive than their contested counterparts. The expenses associated with court appearances, attorney fees, and potential time off work can accumulate quickly in contested divorces. The average cost of a divorce in the United States exceeds $12,900 when using attorney services, with hourly rates averaging $350. By reaching mutual agreements with your spouse, you can significantly reduce the time your attorney spends in court or, in some cases, decrease the need for legal representation altogether, resulting in substantial cost savings.

      Read “How Much Will My Divorce Cost Me Financially and Emotionally?”

    3. Expedited Resolution

      While uncontested divorces are known for reducing court appearances, it’s important to recognize that the divorce process can still be time-consuming. However, compared to contested divorces, which can drag on due to ongoing disputes and litigation, uncontested divorces generally proceed more swiftly.

      The duration of divorces can vary widely, ranging from six months to a year, depending on the complexity of the issues involved. Generally, the more issues to resolve, the longer the process may be delayed. By proactively addressing divorce matters and reaching agreements outside of court, couples can expedite the resolution process and move forward with their lives more quickly.

    4. Less Emotional Strain

      Emotions often run high when facing court proceedings, especially when uncertainty looms regarding the actions of your ex-partner. The end of your marriage is already emotionally taxing, and the prospect of airing your “dirty laundry” in front of a courtroom audience, including attorneys, clerks, and a judge, can exacerbate these feelings. Court appearances can be emotionally draining and anxiety-inducing.Uncontested divorces offer a means to minimize court appearances, providing individuals with greater control over the process when appearances are necessary. Knowing exactly the terms agreed upon with your spouse and feeling thoroughly prepared on the day of court can help alleviate emotional strain. By engaging in difficult conversations with your ex-partner early on, you can avoid the need for these discussions within the confines of a courtroom. This proactive approach empowers individuals to navigate divorce proceedings with greater emotional stability and confidence.

    5. Enhanced Wellbeing

      Consider the impact of divorce on your children — if you have them. They might sense tension during court proceedings or after arguments between you and your spouse. Children often internalize stress from divorce, which can manifest at school. Hastening the divorce process allows your family more time to heal. Even if you don’t share children, your loved ones might still be deeply affected. Your parents may worry constantly, while friends may just want closure for your sake. Moreover, prolonged legal proceedings can take a toll on your mental well-being and health. It’s okay not to feel okay, but opting for an uncontested divorce can expedite your healing journey.

The Ideal Candidate: Determining Suitability for an Uncontested Divorce

The ideal candidates for an uncontested divorce are couples who can effectively communicate and are willing to collaborate. If you and your spouse can have an open and honest conversation, addressing all issues, or through your lawyers, you may be suitable for an uncontested divorce. Both of you must share the same goal of resolving the divorce amicably and be willing to compromise on various matters. Are you prepared to let go of sentimental items like the fancy Wedgewood china in exchange for your spouse claiming the children on alternate years for tax purposes? To pursue an uncontested divorce successfully, you must be willing to negotiate with your spouse and find common ground. 

Uncontested divorces are most successful when spouses can communicate without conflict. If communication was difficult or the marriage was marked by manipulation and hostility, sitting down together to reach an agreement may not be feasible. In such cases, involving third-party agents like attorneys, mediators, or financial advisors as intermediaries may be necessary to reach an agreement with your ex.

While uncontested divorces offer a streamlined and cost-effective option, they may not be suitable for every situation. It’s crucial to prioritize your own needs and interests and not compromise on what matters most to you. If there are unresolved issues between you and your spouse, consider whether they are worth fighting for. Ensure that when you exit the marriage, you do so from a position of comfort and confidence.

Although uncontested divorces are typically less expensive and may not require extensive legal representation, don’t allow this to deter you from asserting your rights. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on certain divorce terms, contemplate how making compromises could impact your future. Every situation is unique, so don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself and your best interests.

Transition from Uncontested to Contested Divorce: Potential Disadvantages

While many divorces begin as uncontested, unforeseen issues may arise later in the process, leading to complications. For instance, you and your spouse may have initially agreed on the division of assets, only for new disputes to emerge later on in the process. This sudden change can be unsettling, especially if you’re unprepared to address these issues or lack legal representation.

It’s not uncommon for individuals to feel apprehensive about challenging new issues or seeking legal guidance once the divorce process is underway. Additionally, you may find yourself reconsidering previously agreed-upon terms if they no longer align with your best interests. There are various reasons why an uncontested divorce can transition to a contested one, and it’s essential to navigate these challenges with self-assurance, guidance, and determination.

Remember, compromising on your values or needs should never be an option. If new issues arise, don’t hesitate to voice your concerns and seek resolution. These decisions can significantly impact your future, making it crucial to assert your rights and interests.

Options for Responding to Changes Initiated by Your Ex-Spouse

If your ex-spouse initiates the change in circumstances, you have several options to consider. First, if you haven’t already considered getting legal representation, it may be wise to do so, especially if you feel uncertain about advocating for your needs. Experienced attorneys can offer different strategies for presenting your case and negotiating with your ex-spouse or their legal counsel.

Additionally, engaging in open communication with your spouse can be beneficial. Understanding their reasoning for the change in stance may provide insight into their perspective, facilitating constructive dialogue and potential resolutions that satisfy both parties.

If direct communication proves unsuccessful and you wish to avoid further court involvement, mediation offers an alternative solution. Mediation allows you and your spouse to discuss issues. in the presence of a trained moderator who can help you navigate disagreements and focus on finding mutually acceptable solutions.

Learn MORE about mediation by reading “6 Essentials for Preparing for Divorce Mediation.”

Despite the challenges you may encounter, it’s essential to remember that you still have options. Don’t lose hope, especially when your needs are at stake. By exploring available avenues and advocating for yourself, you can navigate the transition from uncontested to contested divorce with resilience.


Opting for an uncontested divorce offers a more efficient, cost-effective, and emotionally manageable approach compared to litigation – or going to court. Divorce proceedings can be complicated and financially burdensome, but by engaging in open communication with your ex-spouse and reaching mutually beneficial agreements, you can mitigate the challenges associated with contested divorces.

By proactively addressing important divorce terms and minimizing court involvement and attorney fees, you can expedite the healing process and begin your journey toward emotional recovery sooner. However, it’s crucial to recognize that while an uncontested divorce may alleviate many common divorce-related issues, you should never compromise on your needs.

It’s essential to assess the long-term implications of any decisions made during the divorce process and to advocate for yourself accordingly. Although an uncontested divorce can potentially transition into a contested matter, there are still avenues available to facilitate a smoother resolution. Whether it’s seeking legal representation, renegotiating terms with your ex-spouse, or turning to mediation, you have options to navigate any remaining challenges.

If you and your ex-spouse can reach agreements on all divorce terms, you may be well-suited for an uncontested divorce. However, the first step involves having candid conversations with your ex-spouse to address challenging issues. Then, as SAS for Women always recommends, you as a woman, meet with a lawyer specifically to learn your rights, what you are entitled to, and to share what your spouse is suggesting as the plan for splitting things. 

Remember, you’re not alone in this process, and you deserve to move forward with your life and embark on your healing journey. Stay resilient, recognize your worth, and make decisions that align with your best interests and well-being. With determination and courage, you can navigate the divorce process and emerge stronger on the other side.


Teresa is a third-year law student in Chicago committed to advocating and supporting survivors of gender and power-based violence. With a longstanding interest in family law, she aspires to pursue a career in this field after graduation. Her goal is to create a meaningful impact by being a voice for those who may struggle to find their own, providing the necessary support and empowerment they need to navigate the legal system and achieve justice.


Since 2012, SAS for Women has been entirely dedicated to the unexpected challenges women face while considering a divorce and navigating the divorce experience and its confusing afterward. 

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*SAS continues to support same-sex and nonbinary marriage. In this article, however, we refer to your spouse as husband/he/him.

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