Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Getting Maryland Divorce

Getting Maryland divorce is quite difficult due to the complicated divorce laws. The jurisdiction of this state is quite strict. One needs to follow and meet the rules and regulations of this state to get a legal separation.

Residential Requirements

One year stay in the state of Maryland is compulsory by either of the spouses prior to filing of divorce in order to fulfill the residential requirement. This is applicable only on those couples whose grounds for divorce have not occurred in Maryland. Other than this any couple can apply for a divorce in this state. The time limit gets increased by 24 months in case the divorce ground is insanity.

Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

“Absolute divorce” is the name given to a final divorce in Maryland. The grounds on which an absolute divorce decree is provided are cruel and inhuman behavior of the defendant, adultery, continuous institutionalization due to insanity for a period of 3 years or more, vicious conduct, deliberate desertion and conviction of felony for a minimum period of 3 years.

Other than the above fault grounds, couples can also file for divorce based on no-fault grounds. For this, couples have to undergo an involuntary separation for a continuous period of 2 years or a voluntary or mutual separation for at least one year without any scope of reconciliation.

Mandatory Documents

The essential documents required to get a divorce in Maryland are Bill for Divorce and Decree of Divorce. There are around 15 to 20 more documents which are needed in a divorce process depending on the type and complexity of divorce. Some of these are Marital Settlement Agreement, A Report on Civil Domestic Case Information, Certificate of Service, Answer to Complaint and Request for Hearing.

Getting Maryland divorce

  1. The divorce law of Maryland allows two types of divorces in its state. These are “Absolute divorce” and “Limited divorce”. Download appropriate forms depending on the type of divorce you want from the Maryland Judiciary website.
  2. Petition is referred as complaint in Maryland. Prepare the complaint for filing to start your divorce legally. This complaint must consist of detailed information about you, your spouse and children if any.
  3. Along with the complaint you are also required to file some documents. These documents differ with the type of divorce you are undergoing. An attorney can help you in this process.
  4. For getting Maryland divorce, you must fulfill the residency requirement as mentioned above.
  5. Once you are ready with all the paperwork and have met the specific requirements, file the complaint. A filing fee is also required to be paid at the county court. The county clerk can be contacted to know the exact amount of the filing fee.
  6. Dates of hearing will be informed to you in advance. Attend the hearing. If the divorce is contested, then multiple hearings and meetings will occur. Be prepared for that. Otherwise, if the case is uncontested, you may not require visiting the court, more than once.
  7. A divorce gets finalized when the court enters a divorce decree.

So getting Maryland divorce is an affair of a few months if your divorce is uncontested or else it can take years to get finalized.

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