San Francisco based Heath-Newton Describes the Benefits of a No Contest Divorce

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Specialists in No Contest Divorce proceedings, Heath-Newton describe what it is and how both parties can benefit.

The law firm explains that the end of a partnership or marriage does not always signal acrimony. For those who are separating without such feelings, a no contest divorce, or ‘uncontested divorce” offers a host of benefits – among them are speed, cost, and flexibility, according to the firm spokesman.

California is no-fault divorce state. That means that in California it doesn’t matter who wants the divorce or why – if either party wants a divorce, they can have it. Long gone are the days of proving infidelity to get a divorce. The upshot is that in California a no-contest divorce is simply a divorce in which the parties work out the terms of their divorce without appearing in court.

There are varying levels of “agreement.” Sometimes the parties know exactly how they want to divide assets and arrange child custody before they ever speak with an attorney. Other parties can’t agree on anything at first, but with the help of their attorneys they’re able to work out a deal. Sometimes the process takes days; other times it takes months. Sometimes the parties mediate; sometimes they work it out at a coffee shop. Either way, in an uncontested divorce, the parties stay out of court.

Uncontested divorces are cheaper, according to a spokesman for Heath-Newton. "You’ve heard the joke that the quickest way to get a million dollars is to start with $10 million, and get a divorce – $8 Million goes to the attorneys, and you and your ex split the rest. Those numbers aren’t far from the mark. There are few things more expensive (and less satisfying) in this world than divorce litigation. Take our advice on this one: avoid divorce litigation if you can – settle out of court! The quicker you can reach agreement with your ex, the less you will spend on the process," the firm adds.

Speed, of course is the second benefit of a no contest divorce, according to the law firm. "There is nothing fast about the California court system, and the family courts are arguably the slowest of the bunch. They’re underfunded, under-motivated, and overworked. They don’t really care about your divorce, and they have no incentive to move quickly. If you want speedy resolution, don’t litigate – mediate. The divorce process can be done in as much time as it takes you to reach a deal with your spouse. Settlement is the best way to reach a quick and fair result," states Heath-Newton.

Heath-Newton explains that the third main benefit of the no contest divorce is flexibility. "Judges don’t know anything about your life so they can’t make orders that truly benefit you. Courts follow the law – the law is the opposite of flexible. You’re not going to get custom tailored divorce agreements from overworked judges. You’re going to get well meaning, but cookie cutter resolutions that follow the law to the letter. On the flip side, if you and your spouse reach an agreement on your own, the court is happy to turn your personal agreement into an order. You’ll need to follow certain formalities, but those are the easy part – pay a lawyer to handle those for your and you’re saving a bundle as compared to the alternative. You can be as creative and flexible as you want with your personal agreement. You want to keep the coin collection and give her the shotguns? Go for it. Nobody cares how you divide your assets unless you take the issue to the court.," adds the law firm.

According to Heath-Newton, a less frequently discussed benefit of the uncontested divorce process is that it allows parties to remain on healthier terms than litigation. The litigation process is emotionally draining and simply stated it makes people angry. A no contest divorce process can take any form a couple wants. Many couples include therapists in the process in order to ease the transition out of the relationship. Uncontested divorces are easier on the soul, according to the firm.

Heath-Newton says they help clients navigate uncontested divorces of every kind. They believe that it’s ultimately better for couples to avoid litigation, and so they support client’s in that process.

About the company:
At Heath-Newton LLP, they specialize in family law, asset protection and estate planning services. Based in San Francisco, their boutique firm has earned a reputation for managing their clients’ cases well, reaching successful resolutions — and minimizing costs and disruption to their clients’ lives.

They have handled a long list of family-law cases, including a broad range of issues facing new families (such as domestic partnerships, premarital agreements, adoption and more), as well as divorce, asset division, child custody and child and spouse support. They also have extensive experience in estate planning, wills, probate, mediation, living wills and trusts.

Collectively, their attorneys have thousands of hours of experience, allowing them to be both efficient and effective. They are guided by a practical approach that emphasizes avoiding litigation to minimize costs and disruption; however, they can and will be fierce litigators when all other strategies have proven ineffective. For more information visit their website at To discuss a situation with one of their attorneys, please call them at (415) 398-1290.

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Charlotte Jones
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