Who can file for divorce in Maryland?
To file for divorce in Maryland , the spouse must be a resident of the state for at least one year. Also, if there are no grounds for divorce, the couple must have lived at least 12 months in separate homes to file for a no-fault divorce. Otherwise, the couple can file for a fault-based divorce if there are grounds for divorce.
What behaviors can constitute grounds for divorce in Maryland?
In the state of Maryland, 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 term of three years, and institutionalization of one of the spouses in a mental case. Health Center for a minimum of three years.
What is the difference between a limited divorce and an absolute divorce?
A limited divorce gives 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 couple’s marital property.
On the other hand, an absolute divorce completely ends the marriage and deals with issues such as custody, alimony, and marital property.
How can I file for divorce in Maryland?
The first step a plaintiff must take in filing for divorce is to file a Petition for Absolute Divorce and a National Civil Case Information with their local court. Copies of the documents must then be served on the other spouse in a ‘Service Process’ to formally inform them of the divorce proceedings. If in the state of Maryland, the other spouse has thirty days to respond, out-of-state spouses have sixty days, and out-of-country spouses have ninety days. The spouse can then deny or approve the declarations, or can file a Counter Complaint for Absolute Divorce, in which they declare circumstances different from those of the Complaint for Absolute Divorce of the other spouse.
What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?
A contested divorce is one in which both spouses cannot agree on certain issues, such as alimony, custody, or property division.
An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree to divorce. Couples in an uncontested divorce file a written Separation Agreement that outlines issues such as child custody and property division.
How long will the divorce process take?
After the documents are filed, a hearing will be held. The timing of this hearing depends on the nature of the divorce. For an uncontested divorce, the waiting period before this hearing is usually two to three months. However, for contested divorces where the spouses are unable to cooperate, the process can take up to eighteen months.
What is decided at 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.