Things to Consider in an Uncontested or Contested Divorce


Many people undervalue the importance of consulting an attorney, even in uncontested divorces. But it is wise to consult an attorney to be advised of your rights whether you choose to hire one or not. For instance, there are steps you can take in the initial stages of a divorce that will help you and your spouse to have an amicable separation.

First, it will usually help you and your spouse to close any joint credit accounts. This will ensure that neither spouse racks up unnecessary costs during the separation. Further, if you or your spouse have always had joint credit accounts, one spouse may be unable to get credit in their own name. Being able to get credit will help either spouse, regardless if you were the sole provider or not. The spouse who is not self-sufficient will need help getting there. Being able to obtain financial assistance will help the non self-sufficient spouse obtain peace of mind knowing they have a financial option to fall back on. The self-sufficient spouse will benefit as well because the more self-sufficient the other person becomes, the less contribution the self-sufficient spouse will need to contribute (usually in the form of spousal support or “alimony”).

Secondly, if there are any valuables you are concerned will get lost or destroyed during the divorce, it is usually best to find a safe place for them before papers are even filed or served. It may be wise to open a safe-deposit box for important papers or family heirlooms. For larger items, renting a storage space may be in your best interest. It is important to document the movement and placement of these items so that you can prove their placement during the divorce proceeding.  If you don’t protect certain items, including those of emotional or sentimental value, regretfully sometimes an angry spouse will destroy them or make them disappear.

Often times, parties in uncontested divorces find themselves in contested divorces halfway through because unexpected conflicts arise.  Making sure you have taken all necessary precautions will allow you to be in the bests position regardless of the type of divorce you and your spouse choose to pursue.

Whether you’re planning for an uncontested or contested divorce, it’s important you contact an experienced family law attorney who can provide valuable guidance for protecting yourself during the process.

Authored by IRWIN & IRWIN.

IRWIN & IRWIN Family Law is located in Fullerton, California.  We provide a full suite of family law services from divorce litigation, divorce mediation, child custody issues, domestic violence restraining orders and representing minors in court.  “Every situation is different, and some come with very complex financial issues.  Our legal team is here to support you during a very troubling time and prepare you for court, or to at least help negotiate or mediate the issues out to establish an equitable legal resolution,” says Kelly Irwin, Senior Litigator at the firm.