|Where do I file the divorce documents in Maryland? |
Divorces are filed at the Circuit Court Clerk's office in the county of filing. The count... more
|How much is the filing fee in Maryland? |
The filing fee charged by the Court is NOT included in the DivorceWriter price. The fee for filing for divorce in Maryland is $165.00. Note: That amount is subject to change at the state's discretion.
|Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in Maryland? |
As of October 1, 2015, a new grounds referred to as "mutual consent" is available in Maryland. Under the mutual consent grounds, a couple with no minor children together can file for divorce without being separated (even if they still live together) as long as they have signed a written settlement agreement that covers all issues concerning the divorce and both will appear at the divorce hearing. Otherwise, the length of time you must be separated (living at separate residences) depends on the grounds for divorce.|
- As long as you are living at separate residences (regardless of how long), you can file for divorce on the basis of adultery, cruelty of treatment or excessively vicious conduct the divorce.
- A 12-Month Separation is required to file for divorce on the grounds of voluntary separation, desertion, constructive desertion, or conviction of a felony.
- If you are filing on the basis of insanity, the insane spouse must have been committed to a mental institution for at least three (3) years, and one of the spouses must have been a resident of Maryland for two (2) years.
|What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Maryland? |
There are two no-fault grounds for divorce in Maryland and six fault grounds.|
- Mutual Consent (No-Fault): As of October 1, 2015, a new grounds referred to as "mutual consent" is available in Maryland. Under the mutual consent grounds, a couple with no minor children together can file for divorce even if they still live together as long as they have signed a written settlement agreement that covers all issues concerning the divorce and both will appear at the divorce hearing.
- Voluntary Separation (No-fault): The spouses have voluntary lived separate and apart in separate residences, without interruption, without sexual intercourse, for more than 12 months with the express purpose and intent of ending our marriage, and there is no reasonable expectation that we will reconcile.
- Adultery: My spouse committed adultery.
- Actual Desertion: My spouse, without just cause or reason, abandoned and deserted me, without interruption for more than 12 months, with the intention of ending our marriage, and there is no reasonable expectation we will reconcile.
- Constructive Desertion: I left my spouse because his/her cruel and vicious conduct made the continuation of our marriage impossible if I were to stay to preserve my health, safety, and self-respect. This conduct was deliberate and our separation has continued without interruption for more than 12 months and there is no reasonable expectation we will reconcile.
- Criminal Conviction of a Felony or Misdemeanor: My spouse was sentenced to serve at least three years or an indeterminate sentence in a penal institution and has served 12 or more months of the sentence.
- Cruelty/Excessively Vicious Conduct Against Me or my minor child: My spouse has persistently treated me or my minor child cruelly and has engaged in excessively vicious conduct rendering continuation of the marital relationship impossible if I am to preserve my health, safety, and self-respect, and there is no reasonable expectation that we will reconcile.
- Insanity: My spouse was confined to a mental institution or other similar institution and has been confined for 3 or more years. Two doctors competent in psychiatry will testify that the insanity is incurable and there is no hope of recovery.
|Does Maryland require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? |
In a divorce involving children, the parents and/or their child(ren) may be required to attend an educational seminar about coping with divorce pursuant to Maryland Code Sec. 7-103. If your county has such a requirement, it is important to sign up for the class as soon as possible since most judges will not allow you to finalize your divorce until you have completed the class and filed a certificate of completion with the Clerk.
|Is same-sex marriage legal in Maryland? |
Yes, same-sex marriage became legal in Maryland on January 1, 2013.
|How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Maryland? |
While there is no required waiting period before the divorce hearing can be held, the length of time it takes to finalize a divorce in Maryland depends on the caseload of the judge assigned to your case. Generally, you should expect to wait approximately a month to get a hearing date. The Court Clerk will be able to provide more specific information for your county.
|What are the Maryland residency requirements for filing for divorce? |
If the grounds for divorce occurred outside the state of Maryland, at least one spouse must have resided in the state of Maryland for at least six (6) months before the divorce is filed. If the grounds for divorce occurred within the state of Maryland, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state of Maryland when the divorce is filed, although the length of residency does not matter.|
The divorce may be filed in the Maryland county where either spouse resides, although most commonly, it is filed in the county where the filing spouse lives. Maryland Code Sec. 7-103.
|What documents are included in the self-prepared Maryland DivorceWriter package? |
The self-prepared DivorceWriter document package includes the following:|
Customers with minor and/or legally dependent children will also receive:
- Maryland Divorce Filing Procedures
- Civil-Domestic Case Information Report
- Complaint for Absolute Divorce
- Affidavit of Service (certified mail and private process options included)
- Answer to Complaint
- Financial Statement
- Joint Statement of Parties Concerning Marital and Non-Marital Property
- Joint Request to Schedule an Uncontested Divorce Hearing
- Marital Settlement Agreement (Note: This document will be called a Separation Agreement if the grounds for divorce selected by the customer is 12-month separation.)
- Submission for Judgment of Divorce
|CUSTODY, VISITATION, SUPPORT|
|What if my spouse and I have agreed to a child support amount that is different from the standard amount? |
Maryland law allows for the use of a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines when (1) the parties' Property Settlement Agreement has provisions that would make the guideline amount unjust or inappropriate or (2) when either spouse has other children or dependents in their household that the parent directly contributes to the support of, which would make the guideline amount unjust or inappropriate. The following are generally acceptable reasons for a child support deviation in Maryland:|
- a lower support amount because the parent that pays support already has children in his or her household for whom he/she is directly supporting;
- a higher support amount because the parent who is receiving support also directly supports other children in his or her household;
- a lower support amount because the spouse who is paying support has agreed to pay debts and/or give property to the other spouse under the provisions of the Property Settlement Agreement;
- a higher support amount because the parent who is receiving support has agreed to pay debts and/or give property to the other spouse under the provisions of the Property Settlement Agreement.