Is an Uncontested Divorce Better for Children?

Family with child

An uncontested divorce is designed for couples that want to end their marriage with minimal court intervention, if they are able to amicably agree on the division of marital assets and liabilities that occurred in their marriage.  When children are involved, there needs to be a legal agreement regarding custody, visitation, alimony and child support matters, according to Florida guidelines.   It is advisable that an attorney that is knowledgeable about the dissolution of marriages is retained as an advocate and to draft necessary documents to end the marriage.  What begins as an amicable agreement often escalates due to power struggles or hostility between the couple, which then becomes a contested divorce.   If there is a history of domestic violence or emotional abuse, an uncontested divorce is not appropriate, as the agreements may be coerced through threats or intimidation tactics.

The benefits of an uncontested divorce are many; dissolution of a contested marriage can be a lengthy and costly process. But if uncontested, both parties can move towards a new life in a relatively short period of time and the fees are relatively low.  The process of having an uncontested divorce, with children, begins with your attorney’s preparation of a Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan. In accordance with the law, parenting plans encompass visitation rights, living arrangements, holidays, vacations, child support and every other aspect of a child’s upbringing.  In some cases, it may be necessary to hire a mediator to work out the details of these documents.  A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is drafted and filed in addition to these legal documents and then submitted to a judge for approval and a final judgment.

The most significant aspect of an uncontested divorce is that it can save your children from dire emotional turmoil that may affect their future. It is emotionally damaging for children to witness their parents in the daily battlefield of a divorce… There is a wide range of emotional reactions seen in these children and psychological studies have concluded that there is an increase in life long mental health risks.  As children struggle with the transition of their parent’s lives, they can exhibit sadness, anxiety, depression, poor academic performance, low self esteem and acting out, destructive behaviors. It is very important that couples focus on the needs of their children, as the divorce of the parents is a major contributing factor that affects their future success and relationships. Especially in the presence of children, parents need to treat each other with mutual respect, refrain from being controversial and encourage a loving relationship with each parent.

While every newlywed believes their marriage will last forever more, the reality is that 40-50% of first marriages in the United States will end in divorce.  Once you have made the difficult decision to proceed with ending your marriage, the Remsen Family Law Firm, can help your family through this difficult time. During a consultation appointment, we can discuss your options and decide if an uncontested divorce is right for you. We want this transition to be as low stress as possible for your and your children, as you begin to plan for your future.