Maryland recognizes both at-fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. The no-fault grounds in Maryland include a month separation where the parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months and mutual consent only when the parties have no minor children and all issues of property, debt and support have been agreed-upon.
For a fault-based divorce, the state of Maryland recognizes adultery, cruelty, excessively vicious conduct, insanity, willful desertion and conviction of a felony. Other reasons may be accepted too, but they do not tend to be applicable in an uncontested divorce.
Joint legal custody is not always awarded in a contested situation, but it can be agreed upon by both parties. The court always considers the best interests of the child as well as if an agreement is adopted by the parents when determining legal and physical custody.
Working out an agreement mutually can help the divorce proceed through the courts as uncontested and makes it eligible for a do-it-yourself divorce which can be more affordable, easy and fast. The standard state child support guidelines in Maryland will exist in virtually every case barring exceptional circumstances.
Divorce in the state of Maryland should be filed in the county where the filing spouse resides, or where the defendant resides, is employed, or owns a place of business. Although divorce can be one of the most contentious legal procedures, few cases end up in trial.
In fact, most cases settle outside of court. It can take many months of discovery, depositions, hearings, preparation and thousands of dollars in attorney's fees to get a case ready for trial. Many couples find it beneficial to try and negotiate a separation agreement and resolve all their issues to help shorten the process and reduce expenses. If either spouse disagrees with any term of the proposed agreement, the court can proceed with a contested divorce trial, meaning the judge will decide the legal issues for the couple.
Filing spouses must give the court a specific reason for the divorce—these reasons are referred to as legal grounds.
In Maryland, divorcing spouses have the option of filing for a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce , which is based on the other spouse's wrongdoing. One no-fault option is to file for divorce based on living separate and apart for a minimum of 12 months.
Another option is to file a mutual consent divorce, but this option is only available to couples without children who are willing to execute a written settlement agreement that resolves all issues about alimony and property division. Limited divorce—or, legal separation —is a way for the court to decide the same issues as an absolute divorce, like property division and custody, but in the end, the couple remains married. Some religions prohibit divorce, and in other cases, spouses rely on each other for financial support or medical benefits, and legal separation may be a better alternative than absolute divorce.
Even if you and your spouse agree on all of your divorce-related issues, it may be worth your while to speak to a family law attorney, even if it's just for limited advice. Most divorcing spouses can benefit from consulting with a local and experienced divorce lawyer for any of the following:.
The grounds for divorce occurred in the State of Maryland. resident of the State of Maryland for at least six (6) months prior to the date of the filing of this. The following provides a basic overview of divorce. In addition to what is listed there are additional forms, important deadlines, and fees you will deal with along .
Make sure the attorney you speak to is experienced in family law and practices in the location where you plan to file for divorce. I have filed this Affidavit of Consent in good faith and have not colluded with anyone in relation to it, nor have I been subject to any force or duress in signing it.
Toggle navigation. State Gov't U. Forms Firms Schools. Most courts will require that this form be completed and filed along with a Marital Settlement Agreement. Please note that in Paragraph 5 Grounds for Divorce , the Plaintiff will need to specify grounds for divorce that are recognized as valid within the State of Maryland.