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Can My Spouse Change Our Uncontested Divorce to Contested?

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 31-Aug-2012

Clients have asked if their uncontested divorce can become contested. The answer is that your spouse can always contest your Pennsylvania divorce until the court has granted a divorce decree. A change from a simple, no-fualt, uncontested divorce to a contested divorce tends to happen when emotions are flaring or a spouse feels she or he did not receive fair treatment when working out the martial settlement agreement.

If your spouse decides to go for a contested divorce this will cost you more money and time. In order to try to avoid this situation, communicate with your spouse early on and keep the lines of communication open. A spouse who feels surprised or blindsided may decide to retaliate and go for the jugular. Don't give him/her that opportunity, be pro-active. Try to negotiate a fair and reasonable marital settlement agreement as early in the process as you acan.. Read our blogs for tips on how to break the news of divorce to your spouse and other helpful tips during an uncontested divorce.

If your spouse is feeling that s/he may be tricked into entering into a marital settlement agreement and wants to instead contest your divorce, remind your spouse that he or she can still hire an attorney to review the marital settlement agreement and still have an uncontested divorce. Note the same lawyer cannot represent both parties in most situations. For example, the spouse who personally contacts, consults and retains a lawyer would be the person who is represented by that attorney.

A simple, no-fault, uncontested divorce is the cheapest and fastest method of getting your divorce. In a contested divorce, the more items couples are not able to find consensus on, the more money it is going to cost them. Each issue a lawyer reviews is billed in addition to the court costs involved in battling out a decision a judge will ultimately be forced to make.

One of the ways to keep your divorce uncontested is to explain to your spouse the financial ramifications of getting a contested divorce. Usually the high cost of a contested divorce will bring him/her back to the negotiating table. Another key point to bring up to an unwilling spouse is the time it will take for a contested divorce to be finalized due to additional court hearings and meetings with lawyers. Stress how both of you can move on with your lives quicker with a simple, uncontested, no fault divorce. Emphasize that you both agree that the marriage is over and there is no need to further drag out your relationship in a court of law. If you have children, talk about how an uncontested divorce will minimize trauma for the children and the importance of making a smooth transition into a reorganized family.

If you file for an uncontested divorce with Cairns Law Offices, you will not have to travel to court or travel to our law office. Attorney Cairns can also prepare your martial settlement agreement, name change document, and remove a name off of a Pennsylvania property deed. Feel free to contact Attorney James Cairns for a free consultation at 888.8636.9115.

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