Uncontested Divorce Becomes Contested When Parents Can’t Agree on a Parenting Plan

Uncontested Divorce Becomes Contested When Parents Can’t Agree on a Parenting Plan

California Document Preparers does a lot of Divorces. They’re never easy—the legal dissolution of a relationship that once held so much promise is always painful. Virtually all of our clients struggle with feelings of loss, failure and bitterness. There are always financial issues, and if there are children, there is the challenge of creating a new normal. Our team is sensitive to all of these issues, and we help our clients through every step of the divorce process.

What to expect when you come into our offices for an Uncontested Divorce

  1. At our first meeting, we collect the information about you, your spouse, your kids, and your finances on our “First Steps” and our “Preliminary Disclosure” workbooks.
  2. The next step is to sign a petition and its attendant documents
  3. The third step is serving the documents to your spouse

It’s at this point that clients develop a comprehensive plan for dividing property and support. An important part of this is a Parenting Plan. We advise putting a lot of thought into this plan, making it as detailed as possible; it likely will change because you’re really creating a whole new family model, but having a workable blueprint makes it infinitely easier to manage.

Case study: An Uncontested Oakland Divorce

A woman recently came into our Oakland office seeking an Uncontested Divorce. She worked through steps one through three and served her husband with the divorce documents. When they got to the fourth step, dividing their property and figuring out how they were going to share custody of their children, they ran into problems. Both spouses had good jobs and they owned their own home in the Oakland hills. The divorce would require their selling the home in which they’d built considerable equity. They would split the profits from the sale and each parent would be responsible for either buying a smaller property or renting. They were both agreeable to this as well as splitting other assets, including artwork and an investment portfolio.

They couldn’t agree on a Parenting Plan

They ran into trouble when it came to their kids, a 10-year old boy and a 12-year old girl. The mother was demanding Sole Physical and Legal Custody; the kids could visit their father on designated holidays and weekends. It was her desire that the kids would live with her; and she would be the one making all decisions about their health, education and welfare. The father, who had a close relationship with both of his children, was completely thrown off guard by this demand, and he wasn’t willing to capitulate to his wife’s wishes. He proposed Joint Physical and Legal Custody, believing that this would be the more equitable arrangement, with their children dividing time equally between their two homes, with both he and his wife making decisions together about the care of their children—just as they’d been doing for more than a decade with their two healthy, well-adjusted kids. Unfortunately, no amount of reasoning would change the mother’s mind.    

Uncontested Divorce just became contested

The result? This couple’s Uncontested Divorce had become contested and California Document Preparers could no longer help this couple. They needed an attorney, and their case would likely end up in litigation. This kind of thing rarely happens, but when it does, we have a network of excellent attorneys to whom we refer our clients when legal issues exceed the services we provide. Most of our clients have a pretty good idea before they come into our offices how they are going to divide their property and share custody of their children. They may not have worked out the details, but they know they are willing to reach agreement—unlike this couple, who likely will be going through an unpleasant, very expensive divorce.  

If you’re considering an Uncontested Divorce, let California Document Preparers assist you. We help you through the entire process. Stop in at one of our three Bay Area locations to talk to one of our team.