In Maryland, there are two ways for couples to divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to the divorce and are able to reach a written agreement on the terms of the divorce, or they must be separated for 12-months before filing for an absolute divorce. However, in a contested divorce, one of the spouses objects to the divorce, objects to some of the terms of the divorce or disagrees on the divorce grounds. When spouses cannot agree on the divorce, the contested divorce will go to court. A Montgomery County contested divorce lawyer could help a spouse in a contested divorce argue their case in front of a judge to work toward a favorable outcome to the case.
What is the Law in Montgomery County on Contested Divorces?
Some of the common sources of disagreements amongst divorcing couples include alimony payments, child custody issues, child support, the division of property, and even the enforceability of a prenuptial agreement. When a separating couple cannot come to an agreement on these issues, they may go through a contested divorce. Contested divorces are often more time consuming and expensive than uncontested divorces. However, one of the benefits of a contested divorce is that the spouses have to go through full financial disclosures. This prevents either spouse from hiding assets and may be particularly useful in divorces where a large amount of assets are at stake.
Maryland Residency Requirement
To be legally able to file for divorce within Maryland, there is a residency requirement that spouses must fulfill. If the grounds for the divorce happened out of state, one of the spouses must have been living in Maryland for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. However, if the events that caused the grounds for divorce occurred within Maryland, then the residency requirement is fulfilled if both parties are still living in Maryland.
Grounds for Divorce
In Maryland, a limited divorce is similar to legal separation and is not a final divorce. However, an absolute divorce allows spouses to finalize their divorce and marry other people. If the parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce and have not been separated for at least 12 months, a spouse can still pursue an absolute divorce if there is a fault-based ground for divorce. Grounds for a fault-based divorce are codified in Md. Code Ann. Family Law §7-103. A court may grant an absolute divorce on the grounds of adultery, desertion, a jail sentence, insanity, or viciousness.
It might be possible to avoid some of the drawn-out legal complications of a contested divorce if the parties can reach a written agreement. If the divorcing couple can form an accord about some or all of the disputed issues, they can form a marital settlement agreement. A Montgomery County lawyer may help parties to a contested divorce draft a settlement if they are eventually able to reach a compromise with the other spouse.
Call a Montgomery County Contested Divorce Attorney Today
Divorce is an emotional time, especially when the divorcing parties cannot come to an agreement. If divorcing spouses cannot agree about all of the legal issues that accompany their divorce, they will need to go to court so that a judge can rule on vital issues like property division, child custody and others. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the terms of your divorce, a Montgomery County contested divorce lawyer could assist you through the legal proceedings and might be able to help work toward a positive resolution to your case.