Divorce is frequently one of the most painful experiences in a person’s life. Nobody marries with the intention of later divorcing. On top of this, divorce law is complicated, and each state has different procedures and requirements to file for divorce to meet the legal grounds to divorce a spouse. The state of Maryland also has its own laws that define the procedures to dissolve a marriage.
When you are ready to file for divorce from your spouse, you should find a knowledgeable and experienced family law firm to assist you with completing forms, submitting evidence, and managing your case. You may have a friend or family member who can recommend a good divorce lawyer, or you can search for “divorce lawyers near me” on your favorite search engine.
Our legal team at Fait & DiLima, LLP is committed to ensuring that you understand your rights and what to expect during a divorce. We understand that divorces can be complicated and that each case is unique. Our divorce attorneys have years of experience providing legal advice and initiating the divorce process on behalf of our clients. In representing you in your case, you will find our attorneys to be innovative, dynamic, proactive, strategic, and resourceful. Contact our office in Rockville or Frederick to arrange a consultation to discuss your case.
Grounds for Divorce in the State of Maryland
You may file for divorce in the state of Maryland under no-fault grounds. You and your divorcing spouse may decide to dissolve your marriage and claim no wrongdoing by either party. Most uncontested divorces are no-fault dissolutions. A no-fault divorce can also be based on mutual agreement so long as the parties have their agreement in writing.
Even if you are filing for a no-fault divorce, you should still hire a divorce attorney to guide you through the process of properly filing paperwork and documents. You and your spouse will have to prove that you have been separated for 12 months or more, and you may have other requirements to fulfill to file for a no-fault divorce.
In the case of contested divorce cases, one person in the marriage will have to prove their spouse was at fault. Fault grounds for divorce in Maryland include:
- Desertion for 12 months or longer
- Cruelty or vicious conduct
- Criminal conviction with over 12 months served of a three-year sentence or greater
- Untreatable insanity that may have resulted in confinement
Once you provide the necessary information to your divorce attorney to prove fault in your case, your attorney can begin the process of filing the paperwork to the state of Maryland to start divorce proceedings.
Maryland Residency Requirements to File for Divorce
Maryland requires that you or your spouse must be a resident of the state of Maryland to file for divorce if the grounds for divorce happened within the state. If the grounds for divorce happened outside of Maryland, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Maryland for at least six months before you can submit filings for divorce.
For example, if you and your spouse have been living in Maryland for three years and your spouse commits adultery, you can file for divorce immediately. If you and your spouse just moved to Maryland last month, and you discover your spouse committed adultery in your home state, you would need to be Maryland residents for six months before you could file for divorce.
Limited vs. Absolute Divorce
In the state of Maryland, you can file for either a limited divorce or an absolute divorce. A limited divorce is known as a legal separation in most other states. A limited divorce will allow a judge to make orders on issues such as child custody or child support until you and your spouse are eligible for an absolute divorce. An absolute divorce is a complete dissolution of the marriage. This will end your marriage and allow you or your spouse to remarry.
Suppose you and your spouse file an absolute divorce by mutual consent or an uncontested divorce. In that case, you will need to submit a marital settlement agreement that describes how you and your spouse will divide assets and debts, pay alimony, and care for children.
When you initiate your search for “divorce lawyers near me,” you may only need to find an attorney who can help with divorce mediation rather than going to court. Be sure to ask about additional options when you interview prospective divorce lawyers.
Protect Yourself and Your Family During the Divorce Process
Divorce law in Maryland can be a complex process. Choose an experienced family law team that is dedicated to guiding you through each step of the process. Your firm should be knowledgeable of Maryland law and experienced with your type of divorce case.
Fait & DiLima, LLP provides skilled legal counsel and representation to clients in Montgomery and Frederick Counties, and the surrounding areas. Contact our Rockville divorce attorneys to discuss your divorce or planning needs. We are committed to compassionately guiding you through Maryland’s complex divorce law process. If you’re ready to start a divorce case with a trustworthy lawyer, our team at Fait & DiLima, LLP can start the paperwork and file on your behalf. Whether you are seeking child support, custody, spousal support, or are going through a high asset divorce, our team will work hard to ensure you get the best outcome possible.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.