Pursuing an amicable divorce can save you time, money, and emotional distress. In an amicable divorce, both spouses work together through civil discourse and respectfully agree on all the significant issues in the divorce. The spouses choose to avoid unnecessary conflict and work toward creating a settlement agreement and avoiding litigation.
Generally, an amicable divorce is considered an uncontested divorce in which both spouses work together to create their settlement agreement. Working with an attorney can be beneficial if you’re interested in pursuing an amicable divorce. Contact one of the skilled divorce attorneys at Greene Crow & Smith today to schedule a case evaluation and learn more about how we can help you pursue an amicable divorce.
What Is an Amicable Divorce?
Amicable is defined as “having a spirit of friendliness without serious disagreement or rancor.” In an amicable divorce, both parties agree to get divorced. They choose to work together on aspects of their divorce collaboratively. Pursuing an amicable divorce does not mean you must be friends with your ex-spouse during or after the divorce process. It means you focus on your common goal and treat each other with respect and dignity.
Amicable Divorces Are Also Called Uncontested Divorces
In North Carolina, couples can pursue an uncontested divorce when they agree on spousal support, child support, the division of assets and debts, and child custody matters. In a contested divorce, the couple cannot resolve one or more of the important issues related to their divorce. For example, the couple may have agreed upon how their assets and debts should be divided, but they must agree on a child custody arrangement.
When the parties cannot agree, they must present their evidence and arguments at a hearing before a judge. Ultimately, the judge will decide on the issue. On the contrary, in an uncontested divorce, there are no major disagreements that the court must decide. In an uncontested divorce, the couple must agree on all of the following:
- Distribution of assets and debts
- Child custody and visitation
- Alimony or spousal support
Requirements for an Amicable (Uncontested) Divorce in North Carolina
As long as the parties meet the North Carolina residency requirement, complete the legally mandated one-year separation period, and agree on all of the major issues of the divorce, they can pursue an uncontested divorce. The court considers the spouse is separated when either spouse moves out of the marital home and the couple lives separately for at least a year.
When pursuing an amicable, uncontested divorce, spouses cannot blame each other for the end of their marriage. In other words, the spouse cannot claim adultery, abandonment, or cruelty as grounds for the divorce. Instead, the couple will agree that the ground for their divorce is an irreconcilable difference.
How to Prepare for an Amicable Divorce
The steps you take to prepare for divorce can make your divorce more amicable and less stressful. An important aspect of pursuing an uncontested divorce is the preparation stage. You can list all your assets and debts and decide which assets are the most important for you to keep after your divorce. When negotiating an amicable divorce, you will need to compromise. You may only meet some of your demands, but in exchange, you can pursue a fair settlement agreement without engaging in a contentious, litigious divorce.
Try to take time to think about how you will resolve the conflict. Child custody and visitation matters can be the most contentious issues. Being realistic about your child custody and co-parenting schedule can help you.
Working with a Mediator
Mediation may be a strategic part of your preparation when both spouses are dedicated to pursuing an uncontested divorce. Suppose you can agree on most contentious issues, but there are still a few outstanding areas on which you can agree. Working with an unbiased, third-party mediator can help you resolve any remaining conflict to move forward with an amicable divorce.
The Benefits of an Amicable Divorce
Going through an amicable divorce doesn’t mean the process will be painless. Separating two lives that have been joined together will always cause a certain degree of stress and emotional challenges. However, an amicable divorce can provide you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse with a more stable, civil environment. If you have children, they may experience less trauma than a highly contested, high-conflict divorce requiring litigation. You also benefit from reduced legal costs and a quicker resolution. Once you have met the residency and separation requirements, you can finalize your divorce in months when pursuing an uncontested divorce.
The Benefits of Working with an Attorney For Your Amicable Divorce
Uncontested divorces are usually quicker, more affordable, and easier to get through. A couple may mistakenly believe that since they are pursuing an amicable divorce, they don’t need to hire an attorney. However, you will benefit from seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney in an uncontested divorce. Even if you’ve already negotiated all the significant issues with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, an attorney can help you complete your divorce settlement and file all the necessary paperwork.
Errors in court filings and failure to submit documentation within the required time limit can cause unnecessary delays with your divorce. Additionally, as you finalize your divorce, one or more issues may arise and need to be negotiated. An attorney can help you negotiate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse while ensuring you obtain the most favorable outcome in your divorce. Negotiating an amicable divorce, it’s much easier when you work with an attorney with experience handling uncontested divorces.
Schedule a Complimentary Case Evaluation
The attorneys at Greene Crow & Smith have extensive experience representing clients in uncontested divorces. We can help you ensure that your legal paperwork is completed accurately, thoroughly, and filed on time. We can also help you negotiate any lingering issues you and your spouse need help agreeing on. Throughout the process, we will provide you with effective legal representation. Contact Greene Crow & Smith today to learn more about our legal services by scheduling an initial consultation.