When you and your spouse agree that your marriage is untenable and agree on the other relevant financial aspects of your split, you may be candidates for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is the quickest and least expensive way to dissolve your marriage, as you and your spouse already have a settlement agreement going into the separation.

Although the process for an uncontested divorce is relatively simple, you will still need legal help from a diligent divorce attorney to ensure all documents are in order and that a preventable mistake does not delay the separation. An Upper Marlboro uncontested divorce lawyer from Carmiece Graves Law could assist you with this process from start to finish.

How To Determine Eligibility for an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce could be granted on one of two grounds: the couple has irreconcilable differences, or they have been separated for at least six months. Maryland Family Code § 7-101 requires that one of the spouses must have lived in Maryland for at least six months before seeking a divorce.

A couple could cite separation as their reason for divorce even if they continue to share a residence. An Upper Marlboro attorney could explain the evidence a couple would need to prove for an uncontested divorce if they are separated while they continue to live in the same dwelling. Even when a divorce is not contested, one spouse must file a petition for divorce and serve it on the other spouse. The couple could then file their divorce settlement agreement, and the court will schedule a hearing.

Agreements Required for an Uncontested Divorce

A divorce requires completely untangling the couple’s legal and financial relationship. A couple seeking an uncontested divorce must separate their affairs before filing for divorce and have written agreements on all relevant issues. They must submit their written agreements on the following issues to the court for review before a judge grants an uncontested divorce.

Property Division

The couple must decide how to split their property. When they have a premarital or post-nuptial agreement, the agreement governs property division. In other cases, the couple can decide what is fair. Courts generally accept agreements couples make between themselves unless they are blatantly and inexplicably one-sided.


The law does not require ongoing spousal support. A couple is free to waive alimony or arrange for one spouse to contribute to the other’s support for a period of time or indefinitely. If the spouses waive alimony and the court issues a final decree, one spouse cannot seek alimony later.

Issues Regarding Minor Children of the Marriage

Parents of minor children who divorce must prepare a parenting plan that describes which parent will have physical custody of the children or whether the parents will share time evenly or close to evenly. The plan should address decision-making for the children and how the parents will resolve disputes. The parenting plan also must contain an arrangement for child support.

Even when parents get an uncontested divorce, a judge will analyze their parenting plan as all decisions affecting children must be in their interests. A judge could reject a parenting plan if they question whether it is the best solution for the children. An Upper Marlboro attorney could explain how courts evaluate parenting plans and help parents craft a plan that will meet legal requirements for an uncontested divorce.

Uncontested Divorce Requires a Hearing

When a couple seeks an uncontested divorce, there is only one court date. Usually, only the spouse who filed the divorce papers needs to attend, although both spouses are welcome to be there.

The judge may ask for proof that the couple meets the residency requirement for divorce, ask questions about the agreements the couple signed, or just confirm that the couple understands them. An Upper Marlboro attorney could accompany a spouse to the hearing and assist if the judge has any questions. In most cases of uncontested divorce, the court issues the final decree within a few weeks.

Get Guidance on Your Uncontested Divorce From an Upper Marlboro Attorney Today

An uncontested divorce is a great option for many couples as it helps them save time, money, and stress. Working together or with a mediator to negotiate a settlement before filing for divorce could help ensure a smooth outcome.

Even though the uncontested divorce process is relatively simple, you will still need a legal professional to review your agreements and ensure they comply with the applicable requirements. If you live in Largo or Upper Marlboro and want help with your divorce, contact an Upper Marlboro uncontested divorce lawyer today for an initial consultation.