If you’re one of many Maryland spouses who have been considering filing for divorce in 2020, you may also be wondering which option would be most viable in your situation. Unless you have a legal background in family law, you may not be particularly familiar with various divorce-related legal terms, such as uncontested, contested, mediation, collaborative law and more.
Perhaps, all you know at this point is that you want to leave the past behind and move on in life in as safe, healthy and low-stress fashion as possible. Like most Maryland parents, you’re no doubt also concerned about your children’s well-being as well as your own finances, especially because you know that being a single parent will be a lot different than living in a dual income household.
How to know whether or not to contest
Filing for uncontested divorce has many advantages. It typically takes less time than litigation. It is also the option people often choose when economic feasibility is a main concern. In short, an uncontested divorce usually costs less than a contested one. It’s definitely not the best option for everyone, however.
In fact, if your current circumstances involve a domestic violence issue or emotional abuse, you might understandably be worried that your spouse has an unfair advantage over you at this time. In such cases, it’s typically best to connect with support advocates who can act on your behalf.
If you can’t agree to disagree
Perhaps, yours is not an abusive situation but you and your spouse don’t get along well at all. If you can barely be in the same room without arguing, it’s logical to assume you might find peacefully negotiating a divorce settlement to be tremendously challenging, if not impossible.
If you and your soon-to-be ex disagree on child custody issues, property division, alimony or child support, it might be best to ask a family court judge to make such decisions.
Never sign anything you don’t understand
Whether you opt to file an uncontested divorce or determine a need for litigation, it will be necessary at some point to sign numerous documents. While you might want to get things over as fast as possible, it’s never a good idea to add your signature to a legally enforceable document unless you clearly understand the terms to which you are agreeing.
By tapping into available support resources, you can learn more about uncontested versus contested divorce as well as how to protect your parental rights and financial interests during proceedings.