Experienced Howard and Montgomery County Family Lawyers Explain How to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Maryland
Preparing strong property agreements so that your uncontested divorce can proceed in in Bethesda, Rockville, Fulton and Columbia
Until 2015, Maryland required that couples who wanted to get a divorce either wait a year after they were separated, or prove grounds for divorce. In 2015, Maryland enacted a new law that makes it easier for some couples to get a divorce without a long wait and without proving that one spouse committed adultery, abandoned their spouse or committed some other wrong.
At McCabe Russell, PA, our Howard and Montgomery County uncontested divorce lawyers understand how the new law works to help couples move on with their lives quickly. We advise clients when an uncontested divorce is wise and when there may be legal, financial and practical problems. From our offices in Fulton, Columbia, Bethesda and Rockville, we are prepared to help our clients through an uncontested divorce, helping to resolve your case quickly and effectively.
The Maryland uncontested divorce law
Couples need to meet three requirements to qualify for an uncontested divorce in Maryland based on mutual consent:
- Both spouses must consent to the divorce.
- They cannot have any minor children.
- They need to reach an agreement on the division of their property and debts as well as spousal support.
Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive and quicker to resolve, and could mean that spouses agree on the proposed terms of the divorce.
Still, couples should not sacrifice financial security for speed. Our lawyers strongly recommend that every couple review their property agreement with experienced legal counsel. Spouses should be aware that in Maryland:
- The property is split equitably, not equally, which means 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 entitled to alimony.
Couples with homes and who have been married for a long time generally require a thorough legal review of their assets and legal rights. Couples who rent and decide to divorce a year or two into the marriage may have fewer assets, but should still have skilled family lawyers review their marital property agreement.
When couples do not qualify for a divorce by mutual consent
Couples with children who reach an agreement on custody, child support, property division and alimony still need to wait a year before they can be divorced. While they are waiting for an “absolute divorce,” couples:
- Can separate and live apart. In fact, they are required to live apart for one continuous year before they can file for divorce.
- Can have an informal arrangement, or have a “limited divorce” agreement, as to where the children will live, who will provide for them and who will make decisions for them. You can even make financial arrangements as to who will pay the mortgage, car payments and other bills.
If you have fault grounds for divorce under Maryland law, you can file for an absolute divorce without the year waiting period.
Speak with an experienced Montgomery and Howard County uncontested divorce attorney today
When you have questions, McCabe Russell, PA has answers. We have divorce lawyers in offices throughout Howard and Montgomery counties to help you understand your rights and your options. We can help expedite an uncontested divorce by creating or reviewing a property settlement agreement that protects you now and in the long-term. To make an appointment, please call McCabe Russell, PA, at 443-812-1435 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in Fulton, Columbia, Bethesda and Rockville.