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Divorce procedures in Maryland


Divorce procedures in Maryland starts when the petition is filed and it ends when the court signs the divorce decree. As the divorce law differs according to states, divorce law of Maryland is also different.

Residential requirements for Maryland divorce:

In order to start the divorce process, one must file a complaint in the circuit court where either of the spouses lives. In the complaint or at the hearing, one has to meet the residency requirement. Each state of United States has its own residency requirements, divorce laws apply only to the residents of the state.

  • Either of the spouse must be a resident of Maryland for one year if voluntary separation without cohabitation is the ground for divorce.
  • Either of the spouses must be a resident of the state at least for a year before filing for divorce. However, after filing for divorce both the parties could move anywhere in the world.

It is not necessary that both of them have to remain at the same address to fulfill his/her residency requirement. Either of them could move anywhere within the state from which he/she is filing. The only essential thing is spouse only needs to give proof of his residence during separation in the final hearing.

Grounds for divorce

There are two types of divorces in Maryland. They are: Absolute divorce and Limited divorce. There are 6 types of grounds for a court to grant an absolute divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Criminal conviction
  • Insanity
  • Two year separation
  • Desertion
  • Voluntary separation

A marriage could be completely dissolved if any of the grounds mentioned above are proved.

There are 4 types of grounds for a court to grant a limited divorce:

  • Desertion
  • Voluntary separation
  • Cruelty
  • Excessive cruelty

A limited divorce does not completely terminate oneís marital status, even if any of the above mentioned grounds are proved. In order to do so, one must either seek an absolute divorce or an annulment.

Divorce procedures in Maryland

  • In order to file for divorce in Maryland it is necessary that the residential requirements are met and the court grants divorce only on the grounds mentioned.
  • Filing spouse must file dissolution papers in Maryland court. Maryland does not allow divorce for fault. This paper of dissolution is called petition. File the petition with all the necessary documents mentioned as per Maryland court.
  • Pay the necessary fees to the countyís clerk, after filing the petition. Make sure both the spouse fulfill the necessary information in the petition
  • Make the copy of the petition and send it to the court. Serve another copy of petition to the spouse. The spouse should respond the court within 20 days after serving
  • Once the response is received from the respondent, both the parties have to wait for the courtís decision
  • The judge will grant for divorce by signing the final decree.
  • One can also get the divorce papers free of cost from the online website of Maryland There are many websites available that provide free divorce information kit.

Maryland divorce procedures are one of the easiest and fastest processes of divorce. On an average, the divorce process takes maximum of 61 days to finalize.


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