MARYLAND DIVORCE LAWYERS | AZARI LAW

Protecting Your Assets and Interests

Not many things in life can have such a detrimental impact as a bad divorce. Whether your relationship has turned bitter, or you are mutually just ready to move on, it is critical to hire an understanding and experienced divorce attorney to assure that the resulting divorce is fair. With so much at stake, you should not make any assumptions – you need an advocate on YOUR side to protect your interests. Azari Law is recognized for its distinguished work in contested and uncontested divorce cases. Our lawyers takes each case to heart, and work as efficiently and thoroughly as possible so that you can move on with your life, happily. Call today to schedule a consultation in our offices in Laurel, Silver Spring, Rockville, and Ellicott City Maryland.

Contested Divorce

There are two distinct ways in which to obtain a divorce: getting a divorce via an uncontested manner or via a contested manner.  A contested divorce is filed with the court when the parties are fighting over certain issues surrounding the marriage (e.g. child support, child custody, division of marital assets, or alimony).  Because a magistrate has to hear all the facts in the case surrounding these issues, the divorce hearing could take anywhere from half a day to a week or more.  To reduce the amount of court time (and attorney’s fees), the parties may elect to try to work out some of the contested issues before court so that those issues are not heard by the court.

In order to get divorced a “ground” for divorce must be pled in the initial Complaint.  Maryland recognizes fault-based grounds, including adultery, desertion, felony conviction, insanity, and cruelty to a spouse or child.  These grounds are litigious in nature and may provoke a disagreement with your spouse if you plead them.  Another “friendlier” ground to plead is separation from your spouse for at least 1 year.  This ground tells the court that the parties are looking to get divorced just based on a separation period and not based on any fault of either party.

After the hearing, the magistrate will recommend to a judge that the parties get divorced and the judge will sign off on that Order in ten days.  The parties will receive notice that their divorce is finalized about two weeks after the hearing.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the “friendlier” and quicker of the two and can be filed when the parties are not fighting over any of the big issues (e.g. child support, child custody, division of marital assets, or alimony) and typically a year separation period must have passed before the hearing.  The only exception to the yearlong separation period is where the parties have no children and have signed a separation agreement; in that case, there is no separation period needed and the parties may petition the court to get divorced immediately.

During the uncontested divorce hearing, the moving party (the party who filed for divorce) need be the only party present; the Defendant does not have to attend the hearing.  The hearing takes about a half hour at the most, instead of day(s) for a contested hearing.  At the uncontested hearing, a series of questions is asked of the Plaintiff to prove to the magistrate that no issues are in contention.  The Plaintiff must also bring a witness to the hearing to confirm that the parties do in fact want to get a divorce and that certain factors have been met (e.g. separation period has been met).

A separation agreement could also be entered into evidence showing that all issues have been settled prior to the hearing in accordance with the separation agreement.  The separation agreement is merged into the Judgment of Divorce and becomes part of the Order.

After the hearing, the magistrate will recommend to a judge that the parties get divorced and the judge will sign off on that Order in ten days.  The parties will receive notice that their divorce is finalized about two weeks after the hearing.

Contact Us 24/7 for a Confidential Divorce Consultation

If you are contemplating a divorce, please reach us 24/7 at (301) 362-3300, or email us for a consultation or to schedule an office appointment with our attorneys. We are conveniently located in Laurel, Silver Spring, Rockville, and Ellicott City MD. Rest assured that any information provided to us is completely confidential. We look forward to helping you.