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Perhaps you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. Will you face a contested or an uncontested divorce?

What is the difference between the two, and is there another option to consider?

The traditional process

In the state of Maryland, courts recognize a contested divorce as one in which the divorcing parties have major issues they have not been able to resolve. If you find yourself in this position, your case will go to trial and a judge will settle the outstanding issues.

Settling outside of court

An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse have resolved matters such as the division of your assets and debts and the custody of your children. There is usually no need to go to court, but Maryland requires one year of separation prior to finalizing the divorce.

A third possibility

If you qualify, there is another divorce option in the state of Maryland to consider: divorce by mutual consent. To qualify, you and your soon-to-be ex must have no minor children together. You must also be able to present a written agreement concerning spousal support and property division. There is no requirement for the two of you to live separately for one year. Your divorce can take place within a few months.

Next steps

You and your spouse may have issues you believe you can best resolve in a court proceeding. However, this may require more time and money than you anticipated. Your attorney can help you determine the best option, including divorce by mutual consent, if applicable. Once the divorce process is completed, you can move confidently into the next stage of your life.