Maryland Divorce Law
Let’s face it. Divorces are not only stressful, but they’re also overwhelming and incredibly time-consuming! If you’re considering filing for divorce in the state of Maryland, then you must read this article. We’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions about Maryland divorce laws and provide insights into the process.
What Forms Do I Need to File?
The plaintiff must file:
- A Complaint for an Absolute or Limited Divorce
- The Maryland Civil Domestic Case Information Report
- A Financial Statement (if either alimony or child support are at issue in your divorce)
The filing must be done in your county’s Circuit Court. You will need to pay the required fees upon filing or request a fee waiver.
What is the Difference Between Absolute and Limited Divorce?
An absolute divorce is what most people think of when they hear the word, “divorce.” An absolute divorce permanently ends the marriage while a limited divorce is more like a legal separation. If you are granted a limited divorce, you are still legally married pending further resolution.
There is also a mutual-consent divorce. This type of divorce allows a spouse to divorce more quickly if they sign a Martial Settlement Agreement. The spouses are allowed to continue living together and do not have to meet the 12-month voluntary separation period.
What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the divorce and its terms. A Marital Settlement Agreement can be used to work through key issues related to the marriage. In a contested divorce, one of the spouses disagrees with the decision to divorce and/or the terms associated with it (such as child custody or alimony).
Do I Have to Remain in Maryland After Filing?
No, you are free to move if desired. Keep in mind that moving far away may make it inconvenient and more time-consuming to attend hearings.
What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?
A Martial Settlement Agreement documents and resolves key issues related to marriage including division of property, joint debts, and the care of children. This agreement simplifies divorce proceedings and pleadings. For divorces with grounds of voluntary separation, this agreement can serve as evidence for obtaining a divorce.
How Long Will the Process Take?
It is difficult to state exactly how long your divorce will take. An uncontested divorce is resolved faster while contested divorces, especially those involving children, take longer. Keep in mind the length of time is also dependent on the county’s Circuit Court.
To avoid a long, drawn-out divorce, seek the advice and guidance of an experienced divorce attorney at Akman & Associates as soon as possible.