As mentioned in Part One, if the parties in a marriage dissolution are not childless (or child-free, as some people say), then either one of the parents has to have literally no demands to make pertaining to the parenting plan; or both parents need to be extremely flexible and to respect the other parent’s time and relationship with the child(ren).
I am unable to recall an actual case that provides an anecdotal example of the uncontested divorce in which on parent has literally no demands. The more common scenario is the situation where both parents have flexibility and mutual respect. In these cases, oftentimes the children are teenagers, or at least age nine or ten. By the time the children are this age, the divorcing parents may have well-established ground rules for parenting, and common expectations of the children’s habits and behaviors. If the parents communicate well through their breakup, and they both have the aforementioned spirit of flexibility and respect, they may be able to proceed with the co-parenting aspects of a divorce in a truly uncontested manner.
This is not to say that all is lost if the parties hit a snag. Most couples with children do, even in the most amicable divorces. But we are talking here about cases that begin, and end, as uncontested cases – cases that do not require mediation, evaluation or negotiation. If the children are young, or if the parties have complicated schedules that require a lot of planning and coordination, it may simply not be possible to consider the case as an uncontested case from start to finish.
Many couples with children end up with a co-parenting agreement. Many of those couples begin with the belief that their case will be uncontested. But the reality is that only in rare instances are parents able to complete their marriage dissolution without some negotiation, and/or the involvement of a neutral professional, to arrive at a workable arrangement.