When you and your spouse agree that it’s time to divorce, do you need to hire a divorce lawyer? What is the legal process for an uncontested divorce case? Can you agree to child custody and child support terms as part of your divorce agreement, or do you need to file a parenting plan with the court?
In Maryland, you can determine everything from the division of property to child custody out of court.
At Jimeno & Gray, PA, we have over 20 years of experience helping families through the complex divorce process. An uncontested divorce lawyer with our firm can help you come to an agreement with your spouse without having to bring your case before a Maryland divorce court.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
Divorce cases can be either contested or uncontested. If you and your spouse agree to the divorce and your divorce terms, you can both sign a divorce agreement and file it with the court for approval. When the court approves your divorce, it will officially dissolve your marriage, and you and spouse will no longer be married.
The plaintiff (the spouse filing the divorce paperwork with the court) must file a complaint for absolute divorce and a civil domestic case information report with the circuit court where they live or where their spouse lives or works. The plaintiff will also have to serve the appropriate documents to the defendant. It’s wise for the plaintiff to have an uncontested divorce lawyer review all documents before filing.
The defendant has between 30 and 90 days to file an answer to the complaint, depending on their location at the time. If the answer agrees with the complaint, the court will schedule an uncontested divorce hearing. The plaintiff must attend the hearing, while the defendant does not need to be present.
It takes approximately three weeks after your hearing to receive your signed and stamped Judgement of Absolute Divorce that officially dissolves your marriage.
Terms You and Your Spouse Must Agree Upon
You and your spouse must agree to all terms of your divorce in an uncontested divorce case, including:
- Property division (assets and debts)
- Alimony (spousal support)
- Child custody and support
- Costs and filing fees for the divorce
Disputes can lead to a much more complex (and expensive) contested divorce if you and your spouse can’t agree to certain terms in your divorce.
Other Alternatives to In-Court Litigation in Divorce Cases
If you and your spouse don’t agree to some terms of your divorce, a divorce lawyer can mediate between you to help you reach an equitable and agreeable decision. If you and your spouse still can’t agree on some terms after mediation, you will need to have a judge decide during litigation.
Speak With an Uncontested Divorce Lawyer at Our Maryland Family Law Firm
If you and your spouse largely agree to your divorce terms, contact us at Jimeno & Gray, PA, in Glen Burnie, MD, to help you determine a final equitable agreement and file the appropriate documentation with the court. Call us today at 443-232-9385, or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an uncontested divorce lawyer.