WHY DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
To obtain an uncontested divorce compromise and agreement is necessary between the parties, which for divorcing couples dealing with emotional and financial issues can be tough. Once an agreement is reached, the matter still must be submitted to the Judge. Successfully executing an uncontested divorce is more than just filling out the paperwork. It takes knowledge of the court system and its procedural rules. Attorney David Stubbs will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that your uncontested divorce goes smoothly.
DOES MY SPOUSE NEED TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
No. An attorney can only represent one party to a divorce and in all cases I will represent the plaintiff, the person filing the divorce complaint. It is not required that the spouse be represented by an attorney but for ethical reasons I will not give advice to the non-filing spouse and that spouse will be required to sign a statement verifying that I have not given them advice.
IS AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE RIGHT FOR ME?
The flat fee of $490 for an uncontested divorce is designed to provide you with competent legal representation at an affordable cost. To find out if an uncontested divorce is right for you call Attorney David Stubbs for a free consultation at 479-443-3872.
ARE THERE ADDITIONAL FILING FEES?
Filing fees are collected by the Circuit Clerk where the divorce is filed. Currently the filing fee in all Arkansas Counties is $185.
IS THERE A WAITING PERIOD BEFORE THE DIVORCE CAN BE FINAL?
The divorce process begins with the filing of the divorce complaint with the Circuit Clerk. In an uncontested divorce the non-filing party agrees to waive the formal requirement of service of process by signing a Waiver of Service of Summons and Entry of Appearance. After the divorce complaint is filed, 30 days must elapse before the divorce can be granted. This required waiting period before the divorce is finalized is designed to allow the parties time to reconcile their marriage if possible, or otherwise to settle any open issues to be resolved through the divorce.
WILL I BE REQUIRED TO ATTEND THE FINAL DIVORCE HEARING?
Yes. All divorce proceedings in Northwest Arkansas require a final divorce hearing before a Circuit Judge. You will appear at this hearing along with
Mr. Stubbs as your attorney. Your spouse will not be required to appear before the judge. Your hearing will be held in Fayetteville if you file for your divorce in either Washington or Madison County. Your hearing will be held in Bentonville if you file in Benton County. In an uncontested divorce the hearing is designed to officially grant the divorce request and formalize the resolution of issues regarding property rights, debt, child custody, child support and any other financial responsibility that the parties have agreed upon. The final hearing is the last step in the divorce process and is scheduled once the 30 day waiting period has expired. At that time the parties will ask the judge to approve and sign a Final Decree of Divorce detailing the divorce agreements that the parties have reached. Once the Final Decree of Divorce is entered by the Court, the divorce is final in all respects.
WHAT ISSUES MUST BE AGREED UPON?
A complete marital settlement agreement needs to resolve the following issues:
1. Division of debts. Who is going to pay each marital debt?
2. Ownership of property. Which spouse will end up with ownership of each item of property?
3. Child custody. Which spouse will be the custodial parent of the children?
4. Child support. The non-custodial parent typically has a legal obligation to pay child support. The Court has a child support chart that you should follow along with several other considerations. Support is paid until each child attains age of 18 years or graduates from high school, whichever event occurs last. Support can continue longer if a child is disabled.
5. Visitation. The Court has a recommended visitation schedule that may be appropriate for your family.
CAN THE WIFE BE RETURNED TO HER PREVIOUS NAME?
Arkansas law provides that when a Final Decree of Divorce is entered the wife can be restored to the name that she bore previous to the marriage dissolved. I will include your name change at no additional cost.
WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW WHERE MY SPOUSE IS?
In true uncontested divorce proceedings the cooperation of both spouses is required to sign required documents. However you may still be able to obtain a divorce even if you do not know where your spouse lives. Additional costs may apply.
WHAT IF MY SPOUSE IS IN THE MILITARY?
There are some special considerations if your spouse is serving in the military. Attorney Stubbs will discuss those with you.
WHEN ARE THE ATTORNEY FEES AND COURT COSTS PAYABLE?
The $165 filing fee and $335 of the attorney fees (a total of $500) must be paid before the Complaint for Divorce is filed. The balance of the attorney fees must be paid before you go to court to obtain your Final Decree of Divorce. These fees are non-refundable once the case is filed.
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
If you are serious about obtaining a divorce and if you and your spouse have agreed to everything mentioned above, call Attorney David Stubbs at 479-443-3872 to discuss your case. You could be divorced in 30 days!
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT YOU?
You should only contact me to file for your divorce after you are convinced that you must dissolve your marriage. While there are counselors and mediators available to help you reconcile your marriage I do not offer any of those services. I do not offer tax advice.
IS IT NECESSARY FOR ME TO MEET WITH YOU?
Yes, I must meet with you at least once before we go to court. I will describe the divorce process and answer your questions. I will also need to obtain information from you in order to prepare the divorce papers. Many times both parties will come to the initial appointment. That is usually the best way to get the proceedings started. Call for an appointment with Attorney David Stubbs at 479-443-3872
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