Who can file for divorce in Maryland?
In order to file for divorce in Maryland, the spouse must be a resident of the state for at least one year. Moreover, if there are no grounds for divorce, the couple must have lived at least 12 months in separate households to file for a no-fault divorce. Otherwise, the couple may file for a fault-based divorce if there are grounds for divorce.
What conducts may constitute grounds for divorce in Maryland?
In the state of Maryland, the grounds for divorce include marital infidelity, abandonment of the other spouse, cruel treatment, conviction of a crime by one of the spouses with a minimum prison sentence of three years and institutionalization of one of the spouses in a mental health facility for a minimum of three years.
What’s the difference between a limited divorce and an absolute divorce?
A limited divorce grants a couple the right to live separately, although they remain husband and wife and may not remarry. The court then handles issues such as child-related issues such as custody and financial matters. However, in a limited divorce, the court cannot divide the marital property of the couple.
An absolute divorce on the other hand fully terminates the marriage and deals with issues such as custody, alimony and marital property.
How can I file for a divorce in Maryland?
The first step the plaintiff must take when filing for divorce is to file a Complaint for Absolute Divorce and a Civil Domestic Case Information to your local court. Following this, copies of the documents must be served to the other spouse in a ‘Service Process’ in order to formally inform them of the divorce proceedings. If they are in the state of Maryland, the other spouse has thirty days to answer, out of state spouses have sixty days and spouses out of the country have ninety days. The spouse may then either deny or approve the statements, or they may file a Counter-Complaint for Absolute Divorce, in which they state circumstances different than the ones in the other spouse’s Complaint for Absolute Divorce.
What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?
A contested divorce is one where both spouses cannot agree on certain issues such as alimony, custody or property division.
An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses agree to be divorced. Couples in an uncontested divorce file a written Separation Agreement in which issues such as child custody and property division are outlined.
How long will the divorce process take?
After filing the documents, a hearing will take place. The time of this hearing depends on the nature of the divorce. For an uncontested divorce, the waiting period before this hearing is usually two or three months. However, for contested divorces where the spouses cannot co-operate, the process may take up to and more than eighteen months.
What is decided in the hearing?
The court will decide on issues such as equitable distribution of marital property, child support, alimony and child custody before finalizing the divorce.
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.