The two types of divorce recognized by the state of Maryland include a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is when both spouses can come to an agreement about the terms of divorce, such as child custody and visitation, child support including medical expenses, alimony, the payment of shared debts, the division of martial property and any other disputes. If there is a disagreement on any of these terms then the divorce procedure will usually be longer and more expensive.
Uncontested divorce cases move more quickly as there are no special set of rules or procedures to be followed. If both spouses come to an agreement about all the terms in the divorce then they will have to file a separation agreement. As soon as the separation period is over then the spouses may file for an absolute divorce and may be divorced quicker and cheaper than couples going through a contested divorce. The separation period is one year in Maryland and spouses are required to live apart without any interruptions during this time period.
There are a few of requirements that need to be fulfilled before filing for a divorce in Maryland. These include giving a legal reason for divorce, fulfilling the residency requirements and filing in the right circuit court in the county which one spouse resides or works in. Maryland recognises a number of fault grounds such as adultery, abandonment, insanity, a felony conviction or cruelty. However, the grounds for an uncontested divorce require fulfilling the 12-month separation agreement. If the grounds for divorce occurred in Maryland then there is no required time period for living in Maryland. If the grounds took place outside Maryland, then either spouse must be a resident for at least a year.
In order to start the process of an uncontested divorce in Maryland, the plaintiff must fill in the correct paperwork. The most important form out of these is the complaint form. This provides a detailed account of the marriage and it includes a plea from the plaintiff to the court to order certain things like the payment of alimony by the defendant.
After the plaintiff fills all the required forms they must then take it to the courthouse for filing. After a case file has been created and a case number has been assigned to the case, the plaintiff must make sure that the defendant gets copies of all the documents. After the other spouse receives this complaint they have up to 30 days to respond if he or she resides in Maryland. If the spouse receiving the complaint lives in the United States but resides in another state outside Maryland then he or she has 60 days to respond to the complaint. In the case that the other spouse lives outside the United States then they have up to 90 days to respond to confirm its receipt. If the defendant agrees to the petition, then they may proceed with filing their separation agreement.
The final step in getting an uncontested divorce is writing to the clerk of court to request a hearing date. The plaintiff must show up with a copy of the marriage certificate and signed a separation agreement. As well as a witness who can testify and confirm if the plaintiff has met the residency requirements. The defendant can appear to the final hearing but also has the right to waive off an appearance. The final agreement will be written on record and the judge will agree to it.
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.