Many divorces are handled outside of court, with litigation being the last resort for most couples. When a divorce is contested and also goes to court, it becomes stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. Although an uncontested divorce isn’t always the right option, it can provide several benefits for everyone in the family. If you are unsure of your options for handling your divorce, a Kansas City, MO, divorce attorney can help you find the right avenue for your needs.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce means spouses agree on the basic aspects of a separation agreement. If negotiation is needed, it can be done very quickly. The basic components of a separation agreement include the division of marital property and spousal support determinations. If a couple has children, it also includes the creation of a parenting plan, determining child custody and visitation, and child support.

Once these aspects are decided, the couple can submit the separation agreement to the court for approval. The court will ensure that it is legally valid, that the decisions are reasonably fair to both parties and that the choices made for children are in the children’s interests. If this is found to be true, the court will approve the agreement.

Even if you and your spouse do not agree on everything in a separation agreement, this does not mean you have to take the case through litigation. Contested divorces can be handled outside of court through avenues like collaborative divorce or divorce mediation. Spouses can also negotiate what they can before litigating the remainder of the separation agreement.

Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce has many benefits over lengthy negotiation or litigation, including:

  • Reduced Costs

    When you avoid litigation, there are significantly fewer court costs, and attorneys usually have lower rates. Some attorneys may even charge a flat fee for uncontested divorces. Even with an hourly rate, the costs remain lower due to the faster resolution of most uncontested divorces. A quick, uncontested divorce is usually the least expensive form of divorce.

  • Quicker and Less Complicated

    Litigated divorces may have multiple court dates, which may not work with your schedule and can be stressful. These divorces can take up to a year to several years. In an uncontested divorce, there may only be a few mediation sessions, which spouses have the ability to schedule. These divorces are also typically resolved more quickly, in as little as a month, as spouses are not waiting on court availability or the decisions of the judge.

  • Collaboration Between Parties

    When couples negotiate their divorce, the focus is on working together, as opposed to litigation, where parties are at odds. This can help both spouses with a dignified and amicable split. If they have children, this is also an exceptional start to a co-parenting relationship. The focus on collaboration can also make the process less stressful.

  • Remains Private

    By keeping the divorce from court, you also provide yourself with more privacy. When a divorce is contested and litigated, the discussions during proceedings are public record. This can add to the stress and high tension between spouses. An uncontested divorce allows spouses to discuss potentially sensitive issues privately. Any arguments you have remain private rather than on display.

  • More Control Over the Outcome

    In a litigated divorce, the final decisions in a separation agreement are decided by the family law judge. This includes child custody, alimony, property division, and any other important issues. When you and your spouse discuss these aspects, a decision is only reached when you both agree. This gives both spouses significantly more control over the final divorce agreement.

What Are the Drawbacks of an Uncontested Divorce?

Every couple’s divorce is unique, and an uncontested divorce, though beneficial, is not always right for you. There are cases where one spouse needs legal protection from the other spouse, and therefore, the case needs to be litigated. In other cases, spouses simply cannot come to any agreement. Your attorney can help you decide on the right option for resolving your divorce.


Q: What Does Uncontested Divorce Mean in Missouri?

A: An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on the main aspects of a separation agreement. This includes division of property, alimony, child support, and child custody, if applicable.

Although the specifics of these issues may need negotiation, spouses are largely able to work from common ground and cooperate. Uncontested divorces can usually be resolved more quickly and inexpensively compared to contested divorces. Although the separation agreement must be filed with the court, there are fewer court dates and no litigation.

Q: How Long Does a No-Contest Divorce Take in Missouri?

A: A no-contest or uncontested divorce may take from 30 days to several months. There is a mandatory waiting period of 30 days, but spouses can file their separation agreement after that waiting period and have a finalized divorce.

However, if there are more complicated negotiations about the specifics of a separation agreement, this may take longer. Issues regarding child support and high-value asset division may add to a divorce’s timeline. Working with an attorney can help this process go more smoothly.

Q: What Is the Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Missouri?

A: In a Missouri divorce, both spouses are entitled to their equitable share of marital property if they divide their property in court. The family court will review certain factors about a couple’s marriage to decide what a fair separation of their shared assets is. These factors include:

  • The value of each spouse’s separate assets
  • The financial and nonfinancial contributions of each spouse to marital property
  • Each spouse’s conduct during the marriage

If spouses separate their assets outside of court, they do not have to follow equitable distribution laws.

Q: How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Missouri?

A: The cost of an uncontested divorce in Missouri varies based on many factors, including:

  • Whether you have children
  • The complexity and amount of assets that must be split
  • Whether your attorney charges an hourly rate or a flat fee
  • The skill and experience of your attorney
  • If there are unexpected complications during negotiations
  • The amount of time it takes to create a separation agreement

An uncontested divorce typically costs much less than a contested divorce because it takes less time, and a contested divorce could be litigated.

Protecting Your Rights and Interests During an Uncontested Missouri Divorce

Stange Law Firm can help you navigate your divorce and protect your family’s interests. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.