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Doing an uncontested divorce? Talk to an attorney first

As divorce attorneys, we get this question from time to time. It is generally better to consult an attorney about the potential legal issues in a divorce (even though it is uncontested) so that you understand what you are getting into as you make agreements about your divorce.

It is normal to for divorcing couples to simply want to “get things over with,” but there are several issues that they may not think about when creating their own divorce settlements.

How to deal with joint debts – The parties may agree that one spouse may be responsible for paying off joint debts (i.e. credit cards or loans), but what happens when he or she is unable (or suddenly unwilling) to meet their obligations? It is important to speak with an experienced divorce attorney to make sure that there is language in your agreement to protect your future interests.

When to transfer property – When a couple owns a home and agrees to sell it, what is the optimal price the couple should settle for (in the event the property doesn’t sell as quickly)? Moreover, what should be the timeline in which the property sells? Other questions that may not be answered so quickly are whether the spouse leaving the property should buy out their interest or whether the spouse staying in the property can afford to obtain another loan. These also should be considered by discussing them with an experienced attorney.

Child support issues – Some couples may not want to deal with child support calculations when coming up with an agreement, but it is important to understand what state guidelines call for.