Well, it depends. Traditionally when both parties retain attorneys, the cost can be anywhere from $15,000 (a very low estimate) up into the tens of thousands. And the cost emotionally can escalate as well.

At Divorce Better our “Pro” package of $3400 will complete your divorce. This includes all court costs. If, with our help, you and your spouse can make agreements around child support and custody, spousal support, separation of property and debt, you are a candidate for our services.

Perhaps – if your divorce becomes a battlefield. If that sounds horrible, think about sitting down with your spouse – with our help – and designing your divorce your way. Your agreements move things along and will keep you out of court. Divorce Better completes and files all the required divorce paperwork so you don’t have to step foot into the courthouse.

This is up to you and your spouse. Traditionally, divorce can drag on for months or years with lots of back and forth between attorneys.

But, if you and your spouse can come up with your own agreements, completion of the paperwork takes about 8 weeks. And once we submit your judgment paperwork to the court, it takes another 8 to 12 weeks for the court to review and approve. Here is one fact that can’t be changed – you can’t be divorced any sooner than 6 months and 1 day from the date the petition was served.

Amicable means friendly goodwill. An amicable divorce goes hand in hand with an uncontested divorce when both parties want to move forward without rancor. We work with couples interested in moving through their divorce together, with friendly goodwill, without rancor, to create value and a better future. This may sound idealized. And it is. Rarely is there a couple with all agreements in place. That is where mediation comes in. It’s invaluable to have a third person to help you move towards a workable short-term and long-term plan for you and your spouse.

Here’s a good explanation. According to LegalDictionary.net, “When two people decide mutually to file for a divorce and are able to decide matters related to the divorce, such as property distribution, child custody support, and spousal support, without help from the court, it is considered to be an “uncontested divorce.”

Uncontested divorces can save couples a great deal of time and money, as they are not depending on the judicial system to make such decisions, and generally don’t even require the services of an attorney.”

The petitioner is the one who opens the case. The respondent is then served the petition and has 30 days to respond. In a traditional divorce, with both sides represented by attorneys, very often the respondent does not completely agree with everything (or with nothing) in the petition and files a response before the 30 days are up. At Divorce Better, with an amicable uncontested divorce, it doesn’t matter who is petitioner and who is respondent. What gets written in the petition is agreed upon by both parties – so no surprises. The only extra work in being the petitioner is signing more paperwork.

  1. You and your spouse sit down and begin discussing your divorce – child custody and support, spousal support, and division of assets and debts.  If this feels tricky, this discussion can be facilitated by a neutral third party or mediator.
  2. If you are able to communicate with your spouse on your own, find where you agree, where you disagree.  Write agreements and disagreements down so you are prepared for mediation.
  3. A mediator will facilitate sound agreements between you and your spouse so together you begin crafting your divorce petition.
  4. The petition paperwork is completed and then served on the respondent.  This marks the official start of your legal divorce process.
  5. While continuing in the mediation process, you complete the court required financial disclosures at home.  A Legal Document Assistant can help you if you get stuck.
  6. Once all issues have been mediated and financial disclosures have been exchanged, the final court paperwork is completed and submitted to the court.
  7. Your Divorce Decree will arrive by mail.  Your divorce will be final 6 months and 1 day from the service of the petition.

No.  But is it something to think about?  Yes.  You can save money, time and heartache if you and your spouse come up with agreements regarding your children, property and debt.  Agreements focus on your future and sideline revenge strategies and vendettas. Will there be times when your emotions are overwhelming during an amicable divorce process? Absolutely.  To be expected and comes with the territory of divorce.  The key is to keep from making decisions that affect you and your children when you are in the heat of anger, sadness or shame.  Wait, talk things over with a trusted friend, family member, counselor or clergy. With an amicable process, you and your spouse make decisions together on the best ways to move forward.

Your kids’ future depends on your actions today.  Your kids are top priority.  Your divorce needs to be centered on what is in the best interest of your children.  If you need emotional support, or if your children need emotional support through your divorce, contact one of the many qualified psychotherapists in Sonoma County.