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Risks of no-contest divorce

For many couples who want to quickly and simply resolve their marriage, a no-contest divorce is an excellent option. When executed properly, no-contest divorces address the legal issues at hand for both parties and allow spouses to end their marriage simply and quickly. However, no-contest divorce does have some weaknesses that require careful consideration, even for those who believe that they want a civil, responsible divorce process.

In broad strokes, no-contest divorce provides streamlined dissolution at the expense of some potentially important protections to both spouses. The more complex the marital property between the couple or the presence of a child that requires detailed parenting and custody agreements may make no-contest divorce impractical. In order to successfully use the process, couples must reach fair agreements about some potentially complex issues, and failing to address these fully may create problems later on, after the divorce is legally final.

This is particularly true when it comes to the debts held by one party that the other party may be liable to pay. It is very common for spouses to rush through a no-contest divorce without realizing that failing to properly address debt may leave them both vulnerable for years after the fact. For instance, if one spouse opens a credit card while the couple is married, and the other spouse is named in the loan agreement, then this must be resolved directly, or one spouse's poor financial choices may affect the other long after the marriage ends.

If you hope to achieve a no-contest divorce, it is important to consider all your legal options. It is not always possible to use a no-contest divorce, especially if you have particularly complex property that requires detailed attention. An experienced divorce attorney is an excellent resource that can help you assess your circumstances and understand if a no-contest divorce is a good fit for you, or guide you to other solutions that meet your needs more fully.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Potential Pitfalls of an Uncontested Divorce," accessed March 23, 2018

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