Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Divorce Court in Maryland

Ending a marriage is a huge step that makes one’s life depressed. Each state has its own laws and rules for separations and divorces. What is necessary for getting a divorce in divorce court in Maryland?

Residency Requirements and Legal Grounds for Divorce

Divorce court in Maryland requires that either you or your spouse has resided in Maryland for one year before you file your divorce. If the grounds for divorce happened within the state of Maryland, at least one spouse must be a resident of Maryland. A divorce case starts when one spouse files a complaint in the county where either spouse lives.

Divorce court in Maryland differs itself in some laws of the divorce process. You can get a limited or an absolute divorce in Maryland. A limited divorce is not stable. The limited divorce makes the separation legal and provides for support. But absolute divorce is permanent. It ends the marriage and property claims. Maryland requires you to state a satisfactory reason as to why you and your spouse should divorce. A limited divorce may be granted on the following grounds:

  • Cruelty of treatment of spouse or minor child
  • Desertion
  • Intentional separation

An absolute divorce may be awarded on the following grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Voluntary separation
  • Crime conviction of an offense or misbehavior
  • Two years separation
  • Mental illness

If you are not certain that all the requirements for the type of divorce you are seeking have been met, a divorce lawyer can help you.

Dividing the Property

Divorce court in Maryland, assets and debts gained during your marriage will be divided equitably when you divorce.

Marital property does not include the property:

  • Gained before marriage
  • Obtained by legacy or gift from a third-party
  • Barred by valid agreement
  • Noticeable to any of the above sources

While deciding on how to divide the property owned by divorcing couples, the judges will consider a number of factors, including:

  • Inputs of each spouse
  • Financial situations
  • Marriage period

Organize all the information on your property. Meeting a Maryland divorce lawyer can save you a lot of time and money.

Child Custody and Visitation

Divorce court in Maryland will make child custody decisions based upon what is in the best interests of the children. In making a custody decision, the court will consider these factors:

  • Fitness of parents
  • Nature and repute of parents
  • Wish of natural parents and any agreements between them
  • Potential for maintaining natural family relations
  • First parental choice of the child, if the child is of enough age and capacity to form a balanced judgment
  • Age, health and sex of the child
  • Residences of the parents and chance for visitation
  • Length of separation of the parents
  • Whether there was voluntary abandonment or giving up of child custody

After the judge signs the custody orders and files it with the court clerk, both parents should follow it. A child who is at least 16 years old can ask for a change in custody which is in his/her best interest. The parents may reach an agreement on child support in writing. A Maryland child support order can be changed if there is a good reason to modify it.

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