People often ask me what I charge for a divorce that is “uncontested”. My initial questions are to establish whether they truly have an uncontested divorce case. If they have children, they will sometimes tell me they have agreed to a 50/50 timesharing (formerly called custody). I then ask whether they have discussed what will be paid in monthly child support, very often they respond with, “neither of us will pay child support to the other”. My follow-up question is, “ok, so do you both make the same amount of money?” Usually, I will get a response such as well no, he/she earns a lot more than me. When one party earns significantly more, the parent with the greater income will normally have to pay some amount of support to the other. Of course, people have often not considered the issue of income disparity and believe the 50/50 time-sharing arrangement precludes one party from having to pay the other any child-support.
There are various other issues for consideration as well, such as health insurance coverage for the child(ren), uncovered medical expenses, IRS dependency exemptions, and child-care expenses, all of which need to be negotiated and settled during the divorce process.
In summary, although clients perceive that they have an “uncontested” case, there are normally many issues that need to be discussed and settled between the parties they had not yet considered. I have helped many clients over the years negotiate these kinds of additional details such that the parties can ultimately enter into a mutually acceptable settlement agreement for their “uncontested” divorce.
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