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How do I know if my divorce is contested or uncontested?

Most people in Columbia and across Maryland find the law confusing. Not only are many of the terms used lengthy and difficult to understand, but statutes can be just as complex and unintuitive. It's not uncommon for someone to have to turn to an experienced attorney for help, especially if that individual wants to resolve a legal issue quickly and correctly.

Because of most people's naiveté of the law, questions like the one we're posing above are common. In today's post, we'd like to specifically address this one question in hopes of opening the door to further questions from our readers down the road.

How do I know if my divorce is contested or uncontested?

When most people think of divorce proceedings, they envision a couple embroiled in bitter arguments about everything from property division to child custody. In cases such as this, most people are thinking of a contested divorce. It's important to point out, however, that a contested divorce does not necessarily mean spouses are pitted against one another in an endless screaming match. A contested divorce simply means that a couple does not agree on the common areas needed to finalize a divorce.

An uncontested divorce, on the other hand, involves absolute agreement on all matters, including, but not limited to: grounds for divorce, property division, spousal support/alimony, child custody, visitation and child support.

Generally speaking, uncontested divorces end up costing couples less in the long run because their situation does not require the intervention of a lawyer or a family law judge. It's important to point out during an uncontested divorce, if at any point the couple disagrees about any part of the divorce proceedings, an attorney is necessary as the couple may now have an uncontested divorce on their hands.

Sources: definitions.uslegal.com, "Contested and Uncontested Divorce Law & Legal Definition," Accessed Nov. 10, 2015

Courts.state.md.us, "Complaint For Absolute Divorce Instructions For Completing DOM REL 20," Accessed Nov. 10, 2015

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