Getting divorced used to mean standing in front of a judge and proving sufficient grounds for dissolving your marriage. Now, an estimated 90% of divorces are settled out of court. With the advent of the uncontested divorce, simply claiming irreconcilable differences is enough to move the process forward. If you can work out the division of property and a custody arrangement without a judge’s intervention, you and your spouse will retain control of those decisions. 

Uncontested Divorce

When both you and your spouse agree to dissolve your marriage and no children are involved, you only have to agree on property settlement. If you have children but also agree on a custody arrangement, there’s nothing left to do but have an attorney draw up the papers. Once your divorce documents are signed and submitted to the court, it is just a matter of your state’s mandated waiting period and a judge’s signature. As an added benefit, you will have saved thousands in the legal fees that would come with a lengthy court battle.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when one party objects to the divorce in general or some aspect of the property settlement or custody agreement. If you both agree to the divorce but have difficulty settling the details, you can still keep your case out of court by having an impartial third party help you work through them.


A mediator is an unbiased third party who will sit down with you and your spouse and facilitate a calm and reasonable discussion about the sticking points. Mediation takes place behind closed doors without any lawyers present, just you, your spouse and the mediator. A mediator is skilled in diffusing the situation when it gets too heated and can offer suggestions that neither of you may have considered.

Last Resort

If you still haven’t reached a complete agreement after mediation, your case may have to go before a judge. However, the more things you can agree upon before you get to court, the better, because the things you can’t resolve, the judge will resolve for you.
It is possible to get a divorce without going to court, as an uncontested divorce lawyer, such as one from, can explain. It just depends on your ability to negotiate with your spouse, either with or without a mediator and come to an agreement. Hire a divorce lawyer to handle all the paperwork and filings with the court on your behalf, and you may never have to see the inside of a courtroom.