Divorce | Maryland Courts
This article covers the basics of filing for divorce in Maryland. If you have specific divorce-related questions or your case is complicated, you should contact an experienced family law attorney for help. The key difference between these two processes is that at the conclusion of a limited divorce, the couple is still legally married.
In other states, the same process is called a legal separation. An absolute divorce is what is called a divorce in other states, and at the end of this process, in addition to dealing with the custody of the children and the other related issues, as stated above, the court has ended the marriage. At least one spouse must be a Maryland resident for at least one year prior to the filing of the divorce.
Valid grounds to get divorce in Maryland
Maryland law requires the divorcing couple to live apart for at least 12 months before filing for divorce. This means that the plaintiff must prove his or her spouse did something that caused the breakup of the marriage. The law is very specific as to what sorts of conduct may provide fault grounds for divorce.
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In Maryland, the fault grounds include adultery, insanity and commitment to a mental institution, cruelty, or vicious conduct. Folks who want to file for a fault divorce should consult with a licensed Maryland attorney to determine whether their grounds are sufficient.
The plaintiff spouse needs to file these papers in the circuit court that covers his or her county. Maryland has eight circuit courts, with each court covering one or more counties. The state judicial branch website also has links to all of the circuit court websites. At the time of filing, the plaintiff must either pay a filing fee to the court or request a fee waiver.
Under Maryland law, the defendant may be served by receiving a copy of the complaint and the writ of summons from:.carozonur.cf
How to File For Maryland Divorce
Once service is completed, the plaintiff should receive proof of service from the server, be it the sheriff, a private process server, the third party or the U. This proof, which is in the form of an affidavit, will show that the defendant was properly served. The court website contains fill-in forms for this purpose. If the defendant lives in Maryland, he or she has 30 days to file an answer; the out-of-state defendant has 60 days, and the defendant who is out of the country has up to 90 days to file an answer.
Therefore it is very important that the financial information be as accurate as possible. Learn more about the divorce process, division of marital property and debt, child custody and visitation, alimony, and more in our section on Maryland Divorce and Family Law. The state judicial website at www. In addition to the state judicial branch, every circuit court has its own website.
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The website can be found at www. I affirm under penalty of perjury that all statements in this Affidavit of Consent are accurate to the best of my knowledge. I have filed this Affidavit of Consent in good faith and have not colluded with anyone in relation to it, nor have I been subject to any force or duress in signing it. Toggle navigation. State Gov't U. Forms Firms Schools. Most courts will require that this form be completed and filed along with a Marital Settlement Agreement.
Online divorce in Maryland
Please note that in Paragraph 5 Grounds for Divorce , the Plaintiff will need to specify grounds for divorce that are recognized as valid within the State of Maryland. Maryland law recognizes only the following grounds as sufficient for granting a no-fault divorce: 1 The spouses have lived voluntarily lived separate and apart for one year without interruption or cohabitation, and no reasonable expectation of reconciliation exists; or 2 the spouses have lived separate and apart without interruption for two years.
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