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Uncontested Divorce in Maryland

Sometimes, marriages just don’t work out—and neither spouse is at fault. In cases like this, there’s a chance that your divorce process can be dissolved faster and more cost-effectively under Maryland’s uncontested divorce law if you qualify for the state’s streamlined program and meet the residency requirement.

Ultimately, a client’s goal when filing for an uncontested divorce is to move on with their life as quickly and easily as possible. To get there, hiring a skilled team of divorce attorneys who understand the intricacies of the process and paperwork of uncontested divorce law is paramount. At Z Family Law, we’ll advise you on the benefits and risks of pursuing an uncontested divorce—from legal requirements to finances to practical concerns—as well as what to expect at uncontested divorce hearing cases. Our goal? To arm you with the knowledge and support you’ll need to navigate divorce proceedings and start the next phase of your life without looking back.

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The History of Uncontested Divorce

Until recently, Maryland spouses seeking a regular divorce were required to wait a year after they separated or prove grounds for divorce. In 2015, however, Maryland signed a new law that makes it possible for spouses to obtain an uncontested divorce in Maryland without a long wait or demonstrating that one spouse is at fault.

The History of Uncontested Divorce

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a type of divorce rooted in mutual consent, meaning the spouses have reached a separation agreement on all the issues relevant to their divorce case, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. Uncontested divorces are typically less expensive and more efficient. Still, spouses should rarelysacrifice finances in favor of speed. Even in uncontested divorce cases where the spouses created their own agreement, we suggest that every divorcing couple review their marital settlement agreement in-depth with an experienced family law attorney before signing it. Spouses should also be aware that in Maryland:

  • The division of property is split equitably, not equally, meaning one spouse may be entitled to more than 50%.
  • Marital property can include the current value of future benefits, such as stock benefits and pensions.
  • One spouse may be awarded alimony.

Do I Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce?

To submit paperwork and have your request for an uncontested divorce granted, you’ll need to show the family court that:

  • You’ve both signed a written settlement agreement that resolves the division of property (including, specifically, retirement assets) and alimony issues.
  • Both spouses have signed an agreement that covers child custody, access or parenting time, and child support (when children are involved).
  • Neither spouse has filed to set aside the agreement between the time the settlement agreement was signed and the date of your divorce hearing.

While these qualifications may seem straightforward, the truth is that the uncontested divorce process simply shifts the burden of resolving your marital issues from the family court onto you. Since an uncontested divorce in Maryland removes the need for a courtroom judge to hear your divorce case and decide on matters for you, it requires both spouses to reach a separation agreement on everything from pension plans to pets and kids. Reaching a signed marital settlement agreement can be difficult—especially because you want to ensure you’re protecting your legal rights along the way. To cope with the added responsibility an uncontested divorce brings and walk away with the best possible separation agreement, you’ll need a family law attorney with valuable experience handling these types of mutual consent cases.

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Finding the Right Divorce Attorney for You

As you navigate this challenging time, a trusted legal team who can help you make rational, well-guided decisions is essential. After all, when it comes to divorce proceedings, the importance of finding strategic and compassionate legal counsel focused solely on family law cannot be understated. By combining our vast legal experience, our tenured team of family law attorneys can design a tailored strategy to help you take back your power and build the new beginning you deserve.

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