According to statistics, 95% of all divorce cases in the United States are now settled out-of-court. For those who have not gone through the divorce process, it’s easy to hear the word divorce and immediately picture heated debates and unnecessary drama in the court room. In reality, the divorce process doesn’t need to be dramatic at all. In fact, knowing the difference between an Uncontested Divorce and a Contested Divorce may be the first step towards making the right decision for you and your family.
If you and your spouse are able to agree on all or most of the terms of your case, including how you’ll split up your assets and debts, how you’ll handle custody of any children, and whether/how much support will be paid, a Marital Settlement Agreement, also commonly referred to as a Separation Agreement, can be written up and enforced by a judge. By entering into an Agreement, your divorce would be considered an uncontested divorce. You and your spouse can work together in divorce mediation or in the collaborative divorce process to reach the terms of your Marital Settlement Agreement.
A contested divorce is where the parties are not in agreement with at least one issue such as: the divorce itself, the property division, child custody, alimony, etc. and where the parties allow the court to decide for them. Uncontested divorces in Maryland fall into two categories – (1) Consent Divorces – the parties agree on all major issues; and (2) Default causes – where one party fails to respond or appear in court to contest the divorce or any issue in it, either because he or she do not to oppose it, or because he or she cannot be located.
If both parties are able to agree on most of the issues involved in your case, an uncontested divorce is the quickest and easiest option because it minimizes the stress and the financial hardship of litigation. For an uncontested divorce, the extent of your personal involvement with the court is your participation in a 10-minute hearing. The uncontested divorce hearing will take place at the Maryland Circuit Court in your local county once your attorney has filed your Complaint for Absolute Divorce. You will typically receive your final, stamped, Judgment of Absolute Divorce within approximately two to three weeks from the conclusion of your uncontested divorce hearing.
Jacobson Family Law has chosen to dedicate our practice to working with clients who wish to resolve their family disputes without court intervention. We are committed to Keeping the Drama Out of your Divorce by avoiding lengthy, drawn out court proceedings. If you have questions about the difference between an Uncontested Divorce and a Contested Divorce, or are interested in pursuing, an uncontested divorce in Maryland, contact us today at 443-741-1147 or Schedule a Consultation.