This is the next post in our series on obtaining uncontested divorces in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our last article discussed how mistakes in a settlement agreement or misunderstandings about a party’s rights may lead to further Court proceedings. The time and expense saved in comparison to pursuing a contested divorce may be attractive. A hasty settlement, however, could be difficult, if not impossible, to modify in the future. In this article, we will discuss the importance of consulting with an experienced Little Rock divorce attorney as early as possible in the divorce process. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
A Little Rock divorce lawyer can explain your rights in contested and uncontested divorces
As we have discussed previously, there are several obvious benefits of pursuing an uncontested divorce. For many couples ending their marriage, this process can be a cost-effective alternative to a contested divorce. For example, spouses with limited assets or no children may easily arrive at a settlement. For those with more complicated assets or children, it is imperative to understand your legal rights and the consequences of a negotiated settlement. As we have also explained earlier in this series, parties to an uncontested divorce are required to agree completely on all of the terms to the settlement. This requirement may encourage a party to make concessions that are not in that party’s best interest for the sake of finalizing the divorce. Consulting with an experienced attorney may prevent a party from agreeing to an unfavorable term.
For example, a mother of minor children may be prepared to agree to one year of spousal support in an uncontested divorce simply to expedite the process. Her agreement to this term may be problematic in the future if her spouse was the primary breadwinner. Depending on other factors, this provision of the agreement may be unchangeable. If, on the other hand, she speaks with a Little Rock lawyer prior to finalizing the settlement, she may learn that she is legally entitled to multiple years of alimony under Arkansas law. In this case, the mother may decide to renegotiate her spousal support term or pursue a contested divorce to completely avail herself of her legal rights. Without the advice of counsel, this might have been a costly error.
Consulting with an experienced attorney may help Little Rock residents avoid future court proceedings
Another benefit of consulting with an attorney during a stipulated divorce is to avoid common pitfalls that could lead the parties back to Court in the future. A settlement agreement must clearly identify the assets and liabilities of the spouses and state how these will be divided between the two going forward. Omitting an asset or liability from the final terms may result in the need to reopen the matter in Court. Failing to clearly describe assets of the couple may also cause future disputes. Both mistakes could cost valuable time and money. Working with a lawyer with experience in preparing the documentation may identify these problems in advance and prevent the need for further litigation.
If you are considering a divorce, contact our Little Rock divorce attorneys today. Our firm can help you through the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of Arkansas.