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Is it possible to arrange terms for an uncontested divorce?

Many people view divorce as a war or a battle, pitting one spouse against the other in an attempt to win certain assets or control child custody issues. That kind of contentious approach can result in a protracted divorce process, requiring a lot of time and money to complete. When the courts have to set the terms of your divorce, it can take a lot of time to reach a proper decision. It can also leave both spouses unhappy with the outcome of the divorce, therefore considering an uncontested divorce.

In some cases, it may be possible for spouses headed toward divorce to arrange for an uncontested divorce. That means that you and your spouse agree on specific terms regarding the process of asset division, child support and custody, and any spousal support or alimony. If you’re hoping for an uncontested divorce, there are a few key issues to keep in mind.

Maryland has simplified uncontested divorce in some cases

The law in Maryland used to require a full year of separation before granting an uncontested divorce. That often led to couples who could otherwise come to an agreement heading to court to avoid that wait. As of 2015, however, the waiting period is no longer an issue for couples who agree to terms for asset division and who don’t have children.

Couples with minor children will still need to live separately before the courts will approve a divorce, even if you and your spouse can agree on terms. If you sleep in the same home even one night, that year of separation starts over again. The good news about this waiting period is that couples who hope to have an uncontested divorce can take some of that year as a cooling-off period, followed by calm negotiations to reach an agreeable solution to dividing custody, child support, and marital assets.

You need to protect your future and legal rights

Just because you want to avoid a drawn-out battle in the courts doesn’t mean that you should agree to whatever terms your spouse suggests. Especially if there is an uneven power dynamic in your relationship or if you have trouble asserting yourself, you need to seek legal help to ensure that you don’t end up agreeing to something that hurts you in the long run.

Don’t let eagerness to end your marriage cloud your judgment. Divorce can result in financial issues that follow you for years. You need to carefully consider every aspect of the divorce and how it will impact you in the future. A quick divorce won’t benefit you if the terms leave you in financial straits or impact your relationship with your children negatively.

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