No-Contest Divorce

A Quick and Easy Way to Get Out ASAP

You always remember that moment when your life came crumbling down. It’s like your own personal 9/11. The question is: How do you get out of the wreckage as quickly as possible?

I was on the phone with my then-wife while at Target. She told me that she wanted to divorce me. It was over.

Things were not perfect, but I did not think it would come to that. We spoke that night and figured out an amicable departure from each other.

The quickest way to get out was a no contest divorce.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Start a No-Contest Divorce

1. How much will child support or alimony cost?

If a child is under 18, then child support will be something to address. Furthermore, if one spouse was a domestic partner, then it is expected that spousal support will be given.

2. Is there any division of property and debt?

When I got divorced, I was fortunate about one thing. When we were married, my ex-spouse and I never shared a bank account. Nor did we purchase property together. It made the process very easy.

If you have any property and/or debt, however, it needs to be explicitly assigned without the court’s assistance.

3. Do both parties agree to the terms of the divorce? 

The entire concept of a no-contest divorce is that no one contests any part of the divorce and the settlement.

4. How will you share parenting time and responsibilities?

Most divorcing couples don’t elect to have a no-contest divorce because of disagreements in time allotments and duties where custody is concerned.

How much time will the child(ren) spend with each parent? What are each parent’s specific responsibilities?

5. Can you work out an agreement in the midst of the emotional turmoil of a divorce?

Emotionally, divorce is taxing. Therefore, both sides will need to stay rational while working out the details together despite their challenges.

The Process

In its essence, a no-contest divorce occurs when two parties file their petition for divorce directly at their local county courthouse themselves.

You do not require an attorney but can have one if you choose.

Both parties agree upon a solution and then present it to the presiding judge for the dissolution of the marriage.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

You can retain one if you want to, but you do not require legal counsel to get this done in most cases.

When Is It a Bad Idea?

If both parties are not in complete agreement about the divorce or any part of the settlement, then you should avoid it.

Any dissent no matter how small or large negates the no-contest divorce. For example, my ex-wife did not want to return my grandmother’s ring. It was a family heirloom and the only point of contention.

Instead of spending a few thousand dollars to try to get the ring back, I opted for the no-contest divorce.

There was no guarantee that I would win, and it was better to move on with life. However, if I had chosen to fight that one point, we would not have been able to go through with the no-contest divorce.

How Much Does It cost?

Costs are significantly lower because you do not need an attorney in most cases.

Court fees are a couple of hundred dollars, and it’s a few extra bucks to get a certified copy of the final decree of divorce. That’s it, no expensive lawyers charging hundreds of dollars per hour.

Furthermore, without having to go through the entire judicial process of divorce, you do not have to limit funds or transactions because of a judge’s orders. Using this method, you can set your own parameters, granted both parties agree.

Safeguards of the No-Contest Divorce

If you are going to go through with a no-contest divorce without a lawyer, here are two specific things you should do to ensure the final paperwork fits with your goals.

Have a professional look through the paperwork. Preferably, have a lawyer or other third party professional look through all of your paperwork to find glaring mistakes.

While most of it is clear-cut in a no-contest divorce, it helped me to have an attorney look through it before moving forward. It might cost you some money just to have it reviewed, but it is worth it for your peace of mind.

Do your research. Additionally, you should do your own research. Since you are not using an attorney, you are on the hook. That means educating yourself on the process is necessary.

Fortunately, some government bodies have information online. That makes the research portion of the process easier on you.

Final Thoughts

Divorce is never easy. It is an emotional roller coaster that tries the sturdiest of people. However, a no-contest divorce can make the administrative and legal process easier to digest.

By educating yourself on the process of a no-contest divorce, you can quickly go through this painful process. Remember that not everyone qualifies for a no-contest divorce. However, if possible, it is something to use.

If you still have questions about a no-contest divorce, please let us know in the comments.


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