1. The first and most obvious advantage of an uncontested divorce is, of course, cost. Uncontested divorce is almost always a less expensive way of getting divorced than other avenues (with the possible exception of pro se divorces, i.e., divorces wherein parties serve as their own attorneys). As one Fairfax judge wisely quipped when describing the financial cost of divorce: Parties can make the decision to pay for their children’s college educations, or they can make the decision to pay for the college educations of their attorneys’ children. Obviously, by agreeing to the terms of settlement, on their own accord, and not engaging in complicated discovery processes, or prolonged litigation, legal fees are kept to a minimum.

2. The level of conflict between you and your spouse remains low, but privacy remains high. By agreeing to the terms of your marital settlement agreement, conflict is minimized. While the Agreement you reach, with your spouse, is ultimately filed with the court, and becomes a matter of public record, any discussions you have with your spouse, and any disclosure made before reaching agreement, are kept private.

3. Control of the process remains with you. As opposed to having a judge make decisions regarding property division, debt allocation, support and/or child custody and visitation, you and your spouse decide how to resolve the issues resulting from the marriage’s dissolution. Although your attorney in an uncontested divorce will give legal advice, and offer his or her opinion as to a likely court outcome, the ultimate decision making power remains in the hands of the parties.