An uncontested divorce is a type of divorce where spouses agree on all the terms of their divorce settlement. These terms include:
- Alimony (Spousal Support)
- Child Support
- Child Custody and/or terms of visitation
- Division of properties and assets
- Tax Deductions
- Any issues that regard the dissolution of the marriage
If a couple disagrees on any one or more of these terms, the marriage is considered contested and is taken to trial.
There are certain requirements that a couple should fulfill before filing for an uncontested divorce.
- A couple filing for an uncontested dissolve bonds of matrimony must have grounds for their dissolve bonds of matrimony, such as separation (couple had not lived together and not engaged in sexual activity) for at least 12 months before filing for a dissolve bonds of matrimony.
- Either one or both of the spouses must be a resident of the state of Maryland if the grounds of the dissolve bonds of matrimony occurred within the state. If the grounds occurred outside the state of Maryland, the spouses must have lived in Maryland for at least a year before filing for dissolve bonds of matrimony.
- The dissolve bonds of matrimony case must be filed in the county that either spouse resides in. dissolve bonds of matrimony cases are filed in the circuit court located in each county.
There are many forms and documents to be completed before filing for a dissolution of marriage in Maryland. The most crucial document to be filed is the complaint. This is because the complaint supplies the court with most of the information needed on the couple, their marriage and the circumstances of the dissolution of marriage.
Once a plaintiff (spouse who initiates the divorce process) files all the paperwork, the court will create a case file, give the case a serial number and order an appearance before a judge. The plaintiff will then serve a copy of the dissolution of marriage documents to the defendant. The defendant has the option to respond with an answer that may show that he/she is aware and fully agrees with the request and grounds for the dissolution of marriage. The plaintiff and the defendant may then file a Marital Settlement Agreement which is a signed arrangement that indicates that both parties have resolved any issues that they may face during the dissolution of marriage process. Following this, a plaintiff will request that a judge set a date for a court hearing. In the past it was required that both parties attend the court hearing, however as of October 1st of 2018, the court passed a law that only requires the plaintiff to attend the court hearing and have the following forms present with them:
- Report of Absolute Divorce
- Copy of Marriage license
- Child Support Guidelines (if any children are involved)
- Separation Agreement
- Submission to Judgement
- In which both spouses surrender the right to appeal the terms of the divorce
As of the year 2016, a plaintiff does not require a witness to attend and testify at an uncontested divorce court hearing. However, a witness is still permitted to attend and their testament may still be useful to the case.
If you need a Maryland Divorce Lawyer to help you with your divorce case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland divorce attorneys can help you. C