Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Maryland Divorce Rights


In order to file a case of divorce in Maryland, citizens have their own rights and laws. The most important requirement to file a case in the state of Maryland however is the residency requirement. As per the laws of the state, any citizen of Maryland can file a divorce case in the county where either of the spouses resides. But if the court finds that the grounds on which the divorce is being sought occurred outside the state, laws require the spouses to reside in the state for a minimum period of one year before filing a case. On the other hand, if the petitioner sites the ground of insanity, the residency requirements in this case would be increased to a term of two years.

There are some other grounds for filing a case in Maryland and citizens have the rights to file a petition in any of these scenarios. Maryland divorce laws have defined some appropriate lawful grounds which would seek an absolute divorce. These grounds are listed as follow. Desertion for a period of twelve months, adultery, conviction of felony, a continued separation for a period of two years, insanity, voluntary separation, mental illness, cruel treatment of the spouse. As defined in the Maryland code, section 7-103 of the family law chapter, a citizen of Maryland has right to move the court in any of the above listed scenarios.

The court in which a person can file a case is called the circuit court and the person who initiates the charge is known as Plaintiff. Defendant on the other hand is the person who has not initiated the case and who in fact responds. In the county circuit court, it is the clerk’s office which takes care of all the paperwork. The clerk’s office also keeps both parties informed about the case. A citizen has to submit some documents in order to use his/her divorce rights. Some of these documents are Decree of divorce and bill for divorce, marital settlement agreement, a request for hearing, financial statement, and certificate of service for complaint.

Maryland follows the principle of equitable distribution of resources while deciding on the distribution of resources between spouses. While deciding on the equitable distribution of resources the court takes into account various factors because equitable distribution does not mean an equal distribution, it however means a fair distribution of the property acquired by spouses during the marriage. The property inherited by either of the spouse is not considered here and is left with the person concerned.

Child custody and child support is the most important issue discussed when the distribution of property is being concluded by the court. The county court can award a retirement profit or a pension to any of the parties concerned. The actual value of the property, duration of marriage, age and health of both the parties, contribution made by each party in the acquisition of the property are some of the deciding factors. The person filing the case has the right to ask for the award of alimony with respect to the provision of the family personal property law.


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