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Your Maryland Divorce Laws 2017

Discover Your Maryland Divorce Laws and Save Time… ….by Understanding the Divorce Process in Maryland


Maryland Residency Requirement
According to the Maryland Divorce Laws and Maryland Divorce Guidelines, to get divorced in Maryland, in a case where the grounds for divorce occurred outside of Maryland, one of the spouses must have been a resident of Maryland for at least one year before filing for divorce. In all other cases either spouse may file for divorce in Maryland. The residency requirement doubles ( to 2 years) in cases where the grounds for divorce is insanity.

Place of Divorce (Venue)
The case may be filed in:
County where either spouse resides

Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures
Summary divorces are not permitted in Maryland. However, marital settlement agreements are specifically authorized by statute and may be used for full corroboration of a plaintiff's testimony that a separation was voluntary if:
(1) the agreement states that the spouses voluntarily agreed to separate;
(2) the agreement was signed under oath before the application for divorce was filed. In addition, each spouse must file a Financial Statement Affidavit and a Joint Statement of Marital and Non-Marital Property. Finally, in a default situation, the divorce may be granted only upon actual testimony of the plaintiff spouse.

Maryland Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for a No-Fault divorce:
(1) Voluntary separation without interruption or cohabitation for 1 year
(2) Spouses lived separate and apart without interruption for 2 years

Grounds for a Fault based divorce:
(1) Adultery
(2) deliberate desertion for 12 months with no chance for reconciliation;
(3) confinement for incurable insanity of at least 3 years
(4) conviction of a felony/misdemeanor with at a 3-year minium (1 year already served) sentence
(5) cruelty
(6) vicious conduct


NOTE: Regardless of the reason of the breakdown of the marriage or the reason for filing for divorce in Maryland, the Divorce Do It Yourself Service will do divorces on an "Agreed" basis or a “Default” basis.

  • An Agreed Divorce , defined by Maryland divorce guidelines and Maryland divorce laws, is a scenario where the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce such as Maryland property distribution, Maryland child support, or Maryland child custody. Most of our clients (75%) prefer the Agreed Divorce method and both spouses sign the divorce papers and are agreed to the terms of divorce.

  • A Default Divorce , from the Maryland divorce guidelines and MD divorce laws, is a divorce where your spouse doesn’t sign the Maryland Divorce paperwork or Maryland divorce forms. They simply doesn’t do anything at all… with the divorce. They simply default on their side of the case. And YOU who filed FIRST get whatever you ask for in the originally filed divorce forms. NICE

Missing Spouse in Maryland
If your spouse is missing and you cannot locate him/her, after diligent effort, you may still get a divorce in Maryland. It may involve the small expense of running a newspaper ad or something similar. We help you through the process with our FREE Missing Spouse Package.

Wife’s Last Name Change
The wife may, if she chooses, receive her Maiden Name back during the divorce. Our Divorce Service includes this name change in our service for FREE.


Maryland Divorce Resources
Here are the important divorce resources for Maryland:


Process to file for Divorce in Maryland
There are only three basic procedural steps to a divorce:

  • File Divorce Papers for Maryland (Maryland Divorce Forms)
  • Notify Spouse of your filing for divorce in Maryland
  • Attend your Maryland divorce hearing


How The Maryland Divorce Service Works

Divorce Process in Maryland

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Your Maryland Child Custody Laws
Definitions: (source: divorce process in Maryland and MD divorce laws)

  • Visitation is the proposed plan the spouses have on WHERE the children will live and WHEN the children will see each parent
  • Legal Custody is the ability to make decisions in the life of the children. Such as, where the children will attend school and which church they will go to.
  • Physical Custody Is the choice of the location of where the children will live and which spouse they live with.

Maryland Child Custody in a shared arrangement, is the usual preferred method of our Maryland divorce clients. If a sole-custody arrangement is what you would like, then there is usually a very good reason for it. Usually the financial status of a parent is not usually considered for allocating any parental rights and responsibilities. Shared Custody or Sole Child Custody is to be awarded according to the “best interests of the child.” That is the gold standard.

Maryland Child Support Laws
If the parents are unable to agree to an amount of child support, there are guidelines that determine the amount of support based on the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. The guideline amount is presumed to arrive at an amount of support that is in the child's best interest. But, most divorcing spouses agree to a figure on their own, that will work just fine. Also, in most situations, -0- Child Support is OK if both spouses are working and can manage. This is also true for a Legal Separation in Maryland.

Maryland Child Support Calculator
You can calculate your child support in Maryland right here.
Maryland Divorce Laws for Property Distribution
In an Uncontested "Agreed Divorce" or "Default Divorce" the property is divided so that both parties agree to the division. The main concern here is to agree to the property division so that it doesn’t create a fight that one party will want to go to a Maryland divorce lawyer or divorce attorney to make the case into a Contested Divorce. Then you will have to incur the fees of a lawyer too.

  • Debts Most divorcing spouses set out who will pay what debts as part of their marital settlement agreement during the divorce process, and close all of their joint accounts.
  • Maryland Alimony Laws (Maryland Spousal Support Laws) In an Uncontested Divorce, Alimony may be awarded to either spouse for their support and maintenance after the divorce. Both parties must agree to it. Since most spouses are working, alimony (if awarded at all), is usually for a shorter period of time, and smaller amount than in the past. In the Maryland divorce laws for alimony, it is possible for alimony to be paid in a lump sum payment of money or a payment plan. Alimony is not required for a person to get divorced in Maryland.

Local Court Filing Fees
Your Local Court filing fees are usually not included in the price of our service. Then, filing your divorce in Maryland, the court fees must usually be paid when you file the divorce papers at your local county courthouse. It is best to call your local county court and ask what the fees are in your County to file for divorce. Whether you are going through a divorce service, using a Maryland divorce kit, using a divorce attorney (or divorce lawyer), or doing a nearly free divorce in Maryland, you will always be paying the local court fees.


Divorce Laws and Guidelines





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