Divorce Attorney in Queen Anne’s County
Contested and Uncontested Divorce on Kent Island
Divorce is one of the most stressful experiences you can go through.
It involves major decisions about almost every aspect of your marriage, from child custody arrangements to what will happen to:
- The family home
- Your pets
- Your finances
- And more
Few people realize how complicated the divorce process can be until confronted with its many questions, challenges, and anxieties.
Because of the emotional toll divorce can take, it is imperative to have legal counsel from a Queen Anne’s County divorce attorney who knows the statutes, case law, procedures, and local courts. At Matthew Penick Law, we have helped hundreds of people navigate this complex family law matter with outstanding knowledge, service, and commitment to their specific needs and goals.
Divorce Laws in Maryland
Maryland law refers to divorce as “absolute divorce.” This is opposed to a “limited divorce,” which is the equivalent of a legal separation. Like other states, Maryland has adopted a no-fault option.
What Are the Requirements for a No-Fault Divorce?
In a no-fault divorce, neither party has to prove any wrongdoing. The requirement for a no-fault divorce is generally a 12-month period of living separate and apart, after which the divorce action may be filed.
What Are Fault Grounds for Divorce?
Maryland also offers fault grounds for divorce, which include:
- Cruelty and vicious conduct
- A criminal conviction
- And insanity
When filing under fault grounds, you will have to prove your allegations to the court. A fault-based divorce action could impact alimony, custody, and other facets of your divorce order.
Contested vs Uncontested Divorce in Maryland
In Maryland, a divorce can be contested or uncontested:
- Contested Divorce: If both spouses cannot come to a mutual agreement on the terms of their divorce, then they will have to file as contested and attend a court hearing. Issues that may be disagreed upon include child custody, support, and visitation. A contested divorce usually takes longer than an uncontested case, but it can be helpful if you are trying to discover things such as hidden assets.
- Uncontested Divorce: If both spouses agree to all terms of the divorce, then it is deemed uncontested and may not require a court hearing. These cases are usually much shorter in length as well.
Addressing All Aspects of Your Divorce in Queen Anne's County
In any divorce, you and your spouse must resolve all the issues pertinent to your situation before your divorce can be finalized.
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- The division and distribution of marital property
Our divorce lawyer in Queen Anne’s County can help you address each of these matters and resolve them favorably. Though we strive to resolve divorce disputes through mediation, negotiation, and other means of alternative dispute resolution, we are never afraid to take a case to court when necessary.
Maryland Divorce FAQ
Do You Need a Lawyer to Get a Divorce in Maryland?
You are not required to have legal representation for divorce in Maryland, but it is very unwise to try and represent yourself in a divorce. Only a divorce attorney will have the thorough understanding of Maryland divorce laws and the experience needed to ensure that you get the best possible results regarding property division, support, and custody.
Additional reasons to hire a lawyer for divorce include:
- If your spouse retains legal defense, it is in your best interests to do so as well
- An attorney can take the load of the paperwork and court documents off your plate
- If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets
- If your case involves minor children, or children about to be born
We can strategically construct your divorce case that prioritizes your short and long-term goals. Our objective is to save you both time and headache. Call today for a consultation to discuss your options!
How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Maryland?
Every divorce is unique, so it is not possible to know exactly how long your divorce will take. That being said, uncontested divorces are generally simpler and quicker than litigated cases.
If you and your spouse are able to agree on each aspect of your divorce without going to court, then you can save a significant amount of time and money. Contested divorces can take months — or even years, in complex cases — since they are disputed and depend on busy court schedules.
Do You Have to Be Separated Before Divorce in MD?
If you are filing for a grounds-based divorce, then you do not need to live separately first. If you are filing for a no-fault divorce based on separation, however, then you must have lived apart without sexual intimacy for at least 12 months.
Call today at (410) 618-0863 to consult with an experienced divorce attorney in Queen Anne's County, MD.
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