If the parties have no minor children or if both parties are both represented by counsel when kids are involved, the divorce may be granted without a final hearing. If a hearing is involved (when there are kids involved but not two attorneys, or in some cases where the judge has some concern even though there are no children or there are two attorneys), it will just be a final default hearing. It is a rather simple hearing, typically only the Petitioner and the Petitioner's attorney are required to be there (although the Respondent and Respondent's attorney can be there, and sometimes it is helpful for them to be there). The Judge will want a record of the facts of the case and the terms of the agreement. The Petitioner (and the Respondent if there) will be sworn-in and the attorneys will ask questions identifying the facts and agreements. The signed document will be identified and entered into the record. The Judge may ask additional questions regarding the best interests of the children. And that will be it. The Judge will sign off on the agreement and the divorce will be entered with Court Administration in the next few days or weeks.
If you and your spouse are in agreement as to the terms of your divorce and wish to have a friendly, easy, and uncontested divorce, consider hiring an attorney for a flat fee divorce.
I routinely offer uncontested flat fee divorces at a rate of $1,000 for couples without children and $1,200 for couples with children. The fee includes the necessary court filing fee of $330-332 (depending on your county). This fee includes all of the legal advice, document preparation, and representation necessary for your divorce (with the exception of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders), as long as your divorce continues to be uncontested.
The process of a flat fee divorce is fairly simple. One spouse hires me as his/her attorney (remember, one attorney can not represent both parties). My client completes my questionnaire providing me with the necessary facts of the case and the parties’ general agreement. I will provide advice and guidance on how to best accomplish the parties’ goals. I will then draft the necessary documents, and arrange to get signatures. Sometimes my client and I meet with the other party to review and sign the documents, sometimes the other party will review the documents with another attorney. Once we have signatures, all documents are sent to the court at the same time. If a final court hearing is required (as the courts typically require for divorces with children), I will be there to handle the hearing and provide representation. Once the divorce is final, I will provide guidance on the “wrap-up” work involved, such as handling name changes and transferring title to property. If things become contested in your divorce, my retainer agreement allows for us to switch over to an hourly arrangement, but acknowledges that you have pre-paid for certain documents.
Contact me today to discuss your uncontested flat fee divorce.