In the state of Maryland, a couple may file for a limited divorce or for an absolute divorce.
In a limited divorce, a couple is granted the right to live separately, although they remain husband and wife and may not remarry. Moreover, child-related issues such as custody and financial matters such as alimony are dealt with by the court. Marital property, however, may not be divided by the court in a limited divorce.
In contrast to this, an absolute divorce fully terminates the marriage and the court will deal with custody, alimony, child support, and marital property division issues.
In order for a couple to file for divorce in Maryland, one of the spouses has to have been a resident of the state for at least one year. Moreover, conducts that would constitute grounds for divorce in the state of Maryland include infidelity, abandonment of the other spouse, a spouse being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor resulting in a jail sentence with a minimum of 3 years or a spouse being institutionalized due to a mental health issue for at least three years.
If these grounds do not exist, a couple may only file for divorce if they have been living separately for the previous 12 months.
The initial step that must be taken in the process of filing for divorce is to file a Complaint for Absolute Divorce and a Civil Domestic Case Information to the spouse’s local court. Copies of these documents must subsequently be served to the other spouse in a ‘Service Process’ to formally inform them that divorce proceedings are taking place. The other spouse has thirty days to answer if they are residing in the state of Maryland, however out of state spouses have sixty days and spouses residing out of the country have ninety days. The other spouse then has the option to either admit or deny these claims.
Moreover, they could file a Counter-Complaint for Absolute Divorce in which they outline circumstances different that the ones their spouse described in their claims. Moreover, each spouse must have a relevant witness in order to back up their statements regarding their married life.
Following the submission of the relevant paperwork, a hearing will take place.
The time of the hearing depends on whether the divorce is a contested or an uncontested divorce.
An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses reach an agreement to be divorced. A written Separation Agreement is required to be filed the couple in which they outline relevant issues such as child custody, alimony, and property division.
A contested divorce is one where both spouses are unable to reach an agreement on issues such as alimony, custody or property division.
In the case of contested divorces in which the spouses are unable or wish not to co-operate, the waiting period before the hearing may take up to and more than eighteen months. However, in the case of uncontested divorces, this waiting period can take only two to three months
If you need a Maryland Divorce Lawyer to help you with your divorce case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland divorce attorneys can help you.