Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce in Maryland

A Bethesda attorney who helps you make the right choice for the best outcome to your divorce case

By negotiating an uncontested divorce, you may be able to achieve the results you desire with less stress and at a lower cost than you would in a contested divorce. Still, when approaching a divorce, your unique circumstances play an important role in deciding between a negotiation table and a courtroom. The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott helps you understand the benefits and concerns of each option based on your specific situation, and can advise you when deciding how to proceed.

Key factors when choosing how to approach your Bethesda, MD divorce

Choosing between uncontested divorce and contested divorce largely depends on the ability and willingness of you and your spouse to enter into cooperative negotiations. The following factors will influence your decision:

  • Basic ability to agree: With the help of an attorney experienced in alternative dispute resolution, you and your spouse may be able to resolve most matters in an uncontested divorce. But sometimes couples are unable to agree when it comes to highly contentious issues, such as child custody. On these matters, the court can rule.
  • Power within the marriage: When one spouse has been historically in control of finances and other family decisions, the other spouse may not receive fair treatment in an uncontested divorce, even when he or she has skillful legal assistance. Additionally, if one spouse was a victim of any type of abuse or violence within the marriage, a contested divorce may be vital to protecting his or her rights.

The procedural differences between contested and uncontested divorce

Both types of divorce require the same preparation and attention to detail when accounting for marital assets to be distributed and identifying any alimony needs. After the preliminary stages, however, the two divorce approaches follow different paths.

A contested divorce heads directly the courts. Couples can wait extensive periods just to get their cases on the docket. Then the process can involve multiple hearings, as the courts must rule on immediate issues while simultaneously considering the factors that need to be addressed in the final determination. Eventually, both parties present evidence and expert witnesses and the judge issues a decree. Understandably, contested divorce can be stressful, expensive and time-consuming ordeal.

In an uncontested divorce, the parties employ a mediated or collaborative process to negotiate all terms prior to a shorter courtroom process, in which a judge affirms the agreement and finalizes the divorce. According to the Maryland State Bar Association,, uncontested divorce can be less expensive than the contested divorce process, and it takes less time to complete. Even more important, it allows both parties greater control over their futures, while reducing the stress for themselves and their children.

Contact a knowledgeable Bethesda, MD attorney today

You need experienced and empathetic guidance when choosing which type of divorce to seek based on your unique circumstances. To arrange a confidential consultation with The Law Office of Stacy B. Talbott, call 301-637-8527 or contact her office online.

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