For couples seeking to end their marriages, uncontested divorces have become the new gold standard. With trendy celebrities bragging about their non-contentious divorces and society, as a whole, recognizing how conflict can damage the children from a marriage, people are paying more attention to the idea of uncontested divorce than they ever have before.
There are certainly many benefits that come from filing an uncontested divorce. The first and most obvious is that there won't be a protracted court battle. Instead, a judge simply needs to sign off on your paperwork.
This might make you think that you could handle the whole divorce on your own. There are three very good reasons why doing so could wind up being a very expensive mistake.
A judge won't approve an uncontested divorce with illegal terms
The basic way that an uncontested divorce works involves the couple setting their own terms for everything from asset division to their parenting plan. Unfortunately, having that much power can lead to mistakes that can cost the couple a lot of time and frustration.
Generally speaking, the judge won't scrutinize the asset division paperwork too closely. However, they will very likely pay close attention to both the child custody arrangements and the support agreement between the parents. Regardless of what promises you and your spouse may have made previously in your marriage, it is not legally possible for a parent to waive the obligation of the other parent for child support.
The only time the courts might approve this kind of arrangement is if the couple has enough financial security to demonstrate that the custodial parent will never require state financial aid. Barring that, the courts are unlikely to approve a situation where one parent has to assume all the responsibility for the children. There are other legal terms that would also result in a judge throwing out the arrangements you made.
You need someone to advocate for you
In your rush to get your divorce finalized, you may not really review the long-term consequences of the terms you set. This is particularly dangerous if you know that your ex is manipulative. You could wind up agreeing to terms that will impact your quality of life for many years to come.
An attorney will review anything you agree to and help ensure you don't make costly mistakes with unnecessary concessions.
Your lawyer can help you negotiate the terms for your divorce
In a scenario where you don't currently agree on terms for the divorce, your lawyer could play a crucial role. They could help you in mediation, or they could even serve as an intermediary between you and your spouse.
Regardless of how you and your ex approach your uncontested divorce, you will likely benefit from working with an experienced Maryland family law attorney while setting the terms for your uncontested divorce.