Bring Your Marriage to an End with the Help of a Bethesda Uncontested Divorce Attorney

If you and your spouse are ready to bring your marriage to an end, you have the option to pursue an uncontested divorce. With an uncontested divorce, spouses enter into a written marital settlement agreement and take their agreement to court; and, as long as their agreement complies with Maryland law, the judge will issue a final divorce decree. In this scenario, it is still in both spouses’ best interests to hire a Bethesda uncontested divorce attorney for the reasons we discuss below.

Uncontested Divorce vs. No-Fault Divorce

Before pursuing an uncontested divorce, you will want to make sure this is actually what you want. For example, many people get the terms “uncontested divorce” and “no-fault divorce” confused.

In addition to filing for a contested or uncontested divorce, spouses in Maryland also have the option to file for divorce on “no-fault” or fault-based grounds. Even if you file for a “no-fault” divorce (as most of our clients do), your divorce could still be contested.

This is because fault is just one of several issues that can lead to disputes during the divorce process. Even if both spouses agree that it is time to end their marriage (and thus file for a “no-fault” divorce), they may still disagree about issues such as alimony, division of property, and child support and custody. This means that they will be pursuing a contested “no-fault” divorce.

For a divorce to be uncontested, the spouses must agree on all of the issues involved. So, not only must they agree to get divorced on “no-fault” grounds, but they must also agree on all financial, property and child-related matters.

How Uncontested Divorces Work in Maryland

Let’s say you and your spouse are both ready to end your marriage, and you both want the divorce process to be as quick and amicable as possible. In this scenario, you are a good candidate for an uncontested divorce. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect if you decide to move forward:

  • Initiating the Divorce Process – To initiate the divorce process, one spouse must file a divorce petition in the appropriate court. The other spouse must then respond to the petition appropriately in order to allow their plans for an uncontested divorce to move forward.
  • Identifying Your Income Sources – Since calculating alimony and child support requires examination of the spouses’ respective incomes (among other factors), both spouses will need to identify and disclose all sources of ordinary and investment income.
  • Identifying Your Separate and Marital Assets – Spouses seeking an uncontested divorce must also identify all of their assets that qualify as separate and marital property. Separate assets are not subject to division in a divorce while divorcing spouses must divide their marital assets according to Maryland’s equitable distribution rules.
  • Coming to Terms – Once you and your spouse have all relevant information in hand, then you can begin the process of coming to terms. In addition to addressing alimony, child support and property division, if you have children you will need to develop a parenting plan as well.
  • Preparing a Marital Settlement Agreement – After you and your spouse come to terms, you will “memorialize” these terms in a marital settlement agreement. You will both want to have this agreement reviewed by your respective attorneys before you sign.
  • Obtaining Court Approval – The next step after you and your spouse both sign your marital settlement agreement is to submit it to the appropriate court for approval. As discussed above, as long as your agreement complies with Maryland law (which it should if you hire a Bethesda uncontested divorce lawyer), the judge will approve it and legally dissolve your marriage.
  • Moving On with Your Post-Divorce Life – Finally, once the judge dissolves your marriage, you can move on with your post-divorce life. You may need to refer to your marital settlement agreement at various points during this process as you distribute your assets and get familiar with your alimony, child custody and parenting time arrangements.

5 Reasons to Hire a Bethesda Uncontested Divorce Attorney

No matter how amicable your situation may be, it will still be in your (and your spouse’s) best interests to hire a Bethesda uncontested divorce attorney. Here are just some of the reasons why each spouse should have their own independent legal representation during an uncontested divorce:

1. You Need to Identify All of the Assets and Issues that Are Relevant to Your Divorce

When going through a divorce, it is imperative to consider all relevant assets and issues. Your attorney will be able to help make sure you don’t knowingly overlook important matters during the divorce process.

2. You Need to Make Informed Decisions with Your Long-Term Best Interests in Mind

The terms of your divorce could impact the rest of your life. With this in mind, you owe it to yourself (and your children) to ensure that you are making smart long-term decisions.

3. You Have Options You Might Not Consider On Your Own

Even if you and your spouse have ideas about what works for both of you, there could be better alternatives that you haven’t considered. An experienced Bethesda uncontested divorce attorney will be able to help you explore these alternatives.

4. Lawyers Can Help Prevent Disagreements from Becoming Disputes

Even in an uncontested divorce, it is not uncommon for disagreements to arise. If you and your spouse both have experienced attorneys, your attorneys can help prevent any disagreements from turning into contentious disputes.

5. Mistakes Can Lead to Unnecessary Delays, Costs and Challenges

If you and your spouse overlook assets, fail to consider important issues or unknowingly make any other mistakes during your uncontested divorce, these mistakes could prove costly—if not now, perhaps years down the line. Your attorney can help make sure this does not happen.

Request a Free Consultation with Bethesda Uncontested Divorce Attorney Brandon Bernstein

Do you have questions about filing for an uncontested divorce? If so, we invite you to schedule a free consultation. To get started, please call 240-395-1418 or request an appointment online today.