File for Divorce in Frederick County, Maryland (MD) | Divorce in Frederick County

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Online Divorce in Frederick County

divorce in Frederick County

Please note: in Frederick County, Maryland, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.

The fastest and easiest way to get a divorce in Frederick County, Maryland, is to apply for an uncontested divorce on the ground of Mutual Consent. This ground for dissolution allows the couple to avoid a mandatory 12-month separation before filing the Complaint. However, this is suitable only for spouses who do not have minor children. If the spouses do have children of the marriage, they can arrange an uncontested dissolution after living separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months. This option is still affordable and quick compared to a contested divorce procedure.

Regardless of the ground for dissolution, any uncontested case implies that the spouses reach an agreement concerning essential matters of their separation, such as property division, financial issues, child custody, etc. Furthermore, this arrangement must be submitted to the court in writing along with the other divorce forms.

To terminate the marriage with minimal costs, those who arrange an uncontested dissolution have the right to get a divorce in Frederick County without a lawyer (DIY divorce). Still, when it comes to out-of-court negotiations or preparing legal documents, which can be rather challenging, many couples resort to efficient and cheap alternative options to reduce the stress and effort required. These options include counseling, mediation, and online divorce. has already helped thousands of couples in Maryland and the other US states to prepare the required documents for their case in the shortest terms. This online service selects and fills out the legal forms, customizing them for each customer, based upon his/her answers provided during an online interview and according to Maryland Family Law and the local rules of Frederick County. The company guarantees that all of the customer's personal data and financial information will remain confidential and that Frederick County courts will approve the paperwork with no problems or delays.

As an online document preparation service, offers a reliable, secure, and affordable way to get completed printable paperwork in just two days without leaving home.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Frederick County

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To legally end a marriage in Maryland, you must establish one of the following grounds for divorce:


6-Month Separation: Spouses must have lived separate and apart for 6 months without interruption, even if they live under the same roof.


Irreconcilable Differences: Fundamental unresolved issues or conflicts have led to the breakdown of the marriage, making it impractical for the spouses to remain together.


Mutual Consent: Both spouses agree to divorce and sign a written settlement agreement that resolves all issues related to alimony, property, and child care. The agreement must serve the best interests of any minor or dependent children.


These grounds provide clear options for couples seeking to end their marriage in Maryland.


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Custody of the child in Frederick County

Custody of the child in Frederick County

In a divorce in Frederick County with a child involved, parents are welcomed to make their own parenting plan, which includes custody arrangements, a visitation schedule, and outlines how the parental rights and liabilities should be shared between the parties. If the parents fail to reach an agreement, the court will intervene to resolve these matters.

According to the Maryland Code, Sec. 5-203, the court may award custody of a minor child to either parent or joint custody to both parents with no presumption to favor either spouse.

Judges consider numerous factors to determine what type of custody arrangement would be in the child's best interest in the particular divorce case. These factors typically include:

  • each parent's capacity of childcare and support;
  • the reputation of each parent;
  • financial circumstances of each parent;
  • age and health of the child;
  • the residences of each parent, including opportunities for visitation;
  • each parent's ability to encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • the parents' willingness to cooperate in making decisions about the child's life;
  • parent-child relationship;
  • and other factors that may seem essential to the court.

Whether child custody is decided by the parents or by the judge, it includes legal and physical custody.

Legal custody means the decision-making power concerning the most important matters of a child's life, and physical custody means the physical care and supervision of a child.

Both legal and physical custody may be sole or shared between the parents depending on the circumstances of the case as well as the parties' wishes and capacity. Joint physical custody usually implies that the child spends some period of the year with each parent. The time may be shared precisely in half, but not necessary. The main thing is that the amount of time must be significant (more than 35% of the year, or at least 127 overnights).

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Rules for child support in Frederick County

Both parents are responsible for the maintenance of their minor children.

Typically, the child's primary custodian receives child support, while the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child has to pay child support. This order may change depending on the income of each parent or if there is a shared physical custody arrangement.

Child support is determined following the Maryland Child Support Guidelines, unless it is proven that the guidelines would be unjust in a particular case.

The purpose of the Maryland Child Support Guidelines is to provide the child with the same proportion of parental income and relevant standard of living as if the parents still were married.

An exact amount of child support shall be calculated based on the Income Shares Model. This means that the calculation must take into account such factors as both parents' income, the number of children, health insurance costs, alimony orders, and extraordinary medical expenses, if any.

Rules for spousal support in Frederick County

Rules for spousal support in Frederick County

In a divorce proceeding in Frederick County, either party may receive alimony from the other by agreement or by court decision.

According to the Maryland Code, Sec. 11-106, when deciding whether or not it would be reasonable to award alimony in a particular case, the judge weighs certain factors, including:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • the age and health conditions of each spouse;
  • the ability of the spouse seeking alimony to become self-supporting;
  • the time necessary for the spouse seeking maintenance to find proper employment;
  • the standard of living during the marriage;
  • each spouse's contributions to the well-being of the family, including non-monetary contribution;
  • any agreement between the spouses;
  • the financial needs and resources of each spouse.

One of two types of alimony may be awarded as a result. They are:

  • Rehabilitative alimony

Usually, this is a periodic payment for a fixed time. This type of alimony is designed to help the spouse with a lower income or lack of professional skills to get an education or training needed to find decent employment and achieve financial independence. Thus, in a divorce in Frederick County, such an alimony order can be terminated after a set period, e.g., 18 months, 5 years, or even after 10 years.

  • Indefinite alimony

Indefinite alimony means that an appropriate duration is hard to predict. For example, the recipient is not expected to become financially self-sufficient for some justified reason like physical disability or a significant income gap between the former spouses even after becoming self-supporting. In any case, the circumstances of each couple are considered by the court separately, as every dissolution case is unique.

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Property division in Frederick County

Property division in Frederick County

In a divorce in Frederick County, even if the spouses want to divide assets out-of-court, they should know how property is divided according to the Maryland Family Law so that the Circuit Court approves their Settlement Agreement.

Maryland is part of the equitable distribution states, so all the marital property of a couple should be divided fairly. Each party's separate property is not subject to division unless it was converted into marital property, for example, by mingling joint and separate bank accounts, changing the title on premarital accounts, or changing title on real estate.

Marital property typically includes everything that was acquired by the spouses during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. Separate property includes everything each party had before the wedding, and also, their personal gifts and inheritances regardless of when they got them.

Circuit Court determines what division can be called equitable on a case-by-case basis. Although, the parties usually get more or less equal shares of the property, their shares may vary significantly on certain occasions.

So following the Maryland Code, Sec. 8-205, when dividing property, the court shall consider the following factors:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • the age, health, and abilities of each spouse;
  • the amount of separate property owned by the parties;
  • the relative ability of the parties to acquire property in the future;
  • the financial needs and liabilities of the spouses;
  • each spouse's contribution to the earning power of the other party;
  • the contribution to the value of the property (both marital and separate);
  • each spouse's financial resources;
  • the tax consequences;
  • and any other factors the judge considers appropriate.

Mediation support in Frederick County

When getting a divorce in Frederick County, Maryland, the spouses may resort to mediation.

Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution which implies that the spouses do not compete but cooperate to make a Settlement Agreement or Parenting Plan. In other words, mediation is used to reach an agreement concerning essential terms of the separation to avoid a divorce trial.

Although mediation is a non-binding process in Maryland, in cases involving custody issues, mediation is often required unless there is any history of domestic violence and abuse.

Besides this, the divorcing parents may be ordered to take Parenting Class. This is an educational seminar aimed to help the spouses to deal with the emotional effects of dissolution on children and other issues co-parents may face.

How to file for divorce in Frederick County | Step-by-Step


To file for divorce in Frederick County, the spouses have to meet the Maryland residency requirements.
Pursuant to Maryland Code, Sec. 7-101, if the grounds for divorce occurred outside of the state, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least one year before filing for divorce in Frederick County.
If the grounds for divorce occurred within the state, the filing spouse must currently live in the state of Maryland.


To start the divorce process on your own, the plaintiff should complete the required divorce papers and file a Complaint for Absolute Divorce (the petition) with the Circuit Court, following the Maryland Courts self-help guide. Those who strive to go through the filing process as fast as possible can use in Frederick County.


At the same time as filing, the plaintiff will have to pay a court filing fee so that the legal process can ch


The next step is choosing how to serve the other spouse with a copy of the Complaint and Summons in order to notify him/her about the lawsuit.
In Frederick County, Maryland, the procedure of serving divorce papers can be accomplished by:

-  any person over the age of 18, who is not a party of the case;

-  the county sheriff's service (an additional fee is charged);

-  or a private process server (an additional fee is charged).

Regardless of the chosen method, the server has to provide proof of service by filing a special affidavit. If the plaintiff cannot locate the defendant, he or she has the right to ask for an alternative method of service, for example, service by publication, and in some cases, seek a default judgment.


Once the defendant is served with the documents, he/she has 30 days to file a response. This period may be prolonged up to 60 days if the defendant lives out-of-state. The Answer to Complaint form allows the defendant to admit or deny the provisions contained in the petition.


After receiving a response, the court can schedule the final hearing. A no-fault dissolution of marriage implies that both parties must attend the hearing.

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Contested Divorce

Hourly Billing - Driving the Average Cost of Divorce to $15,000+

Contested divorces can be lengthy and costly due to spouses being unable to agree on one or more key issues, including child custody, property division, or spousal support.

  • Offline and inconvenient process in which both parties often hire attorneys to represent their interests.
  • The adversarial nature of a contested divorce can lead to heightened emotional stress and strain for both spouses and their families.
  • Absent a settlement, the final divorce judgment and terms are determined by the court, which may not fully align with the preferences of either spouse.

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Fast, affordable, and simple process using our fully-guided divorce questionnaire and filing service.

  • Online process to be completed at your own pace, can get documents as quickly as same day.
  • Receive ready-to-file forms specific to your jurisdiction and situation.
  • Easy online access for both spouses, free revisions for 30 days, and the ability to save your data longer term. Experienced customer support via chat and phone.
  • Ancillary services to ensure optimal outcomes, including name changes, co-parenting support, and getting started with your life after divorce.
  • Detailed instructions on how to file with the court or the option to purchase our filing service.

Filing fees for divorce in Frederick County

Many factors affect how much a divorce will cost in Frederick County, so the exact cost cannot be predicted even for a specific case. Proceeding with litigation can be very costly, while the most inexpensive way to arrange the process is a do-it-yourself divorce without a lawyer.

Whether contested or uncontested, each dissolution case includes paying filing fees to the court. In Maryland, the fees are about $215. Additional common costs include fees for service of process and for the Parenting Class. A court filing fee is mandatory for all plaintiffs except those who are qualified to waive it due to indigency.

Request for Waiver of Prepaid Costs is required to be submitted along with the initial divorce forms. The court may order to pay the court fees at the end of the case (and the plaintiff can ask for a final fee waiver then) or oblige the other party to pay this cost.

How long will it take?

On average, once the required legal forms are filed with the court, it takes 30 to 90 days to finalize a divorce in Frederick County if both parties agree not to contest the case.

However, the length of a particular divorce process may vary depending on the spouses' ability to write up a Settlement Agreement, the caseload of the court, and the availability of judges to issue a divorce decree.

Filing for divorce in Frederick County | Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a divorce cost in Frederick County?
The cost of any dissolution starts with a court filing fee. In general, the spouses can only limit themselves to paying only this fee, by filing for dissolution on their own, without any legal representatives. However, this cheap option is not always available, even in amicable cases of uncontested dissolution. Legal forms, as well as negotiation with the ex-partner, can be tricky, so the spouses often seek some help.
As for attorney fees in Maryland, they are about $1,500 per uncontested case or between $250 and $350 per hour. Based on this, it is no wonder that online document preparation services, mediation, counseling, and other inexpensive alternatives are gaining popularity.

How do you file for divorce in Frederick County without a lawyer?
In Frederick County, the spouses have the right to represent themselves before the court. If the case is uncontested and the spouses reach an agreement on the essential terms of their separation, they may complete the forms without any assistance using self-help offered on Maryland Court website or by using

What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Frederick County?
Some of the most common legal forms required when getting a divorce in Maryland include:

  • Complaint for Absolute Divorce, or Complaint for Limited Divorce
  • Civil-Domestic Case Information Report
  • Financial Statement
  • Affidavit of Service
  • Answer to Complaint/Petition/Motion
  • Joint Statement of Parties Concerning Marital and Non-Marital Property
  • Joint Request to Schedule an Uncontested Divorce Hearing
  • Report of Absolute Divorce or Annulment of Marriage
  • Child Support Guidelines Worksheet

Can I file for legal separation in Frederick County, Maryland?
Maryland Family Law recognizes a procedure for legal separation as an alternative to the dissolution of marriage. A legal separation is a court order that allows a couple to live separately and apart and allocate the rights and obligations the same way as a divorced couple but remain legally married.

When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
Maryland Family Law does not require any waiting period to remarry after dissolution is final. Once the judge signs the judgment of absolute divorce, either party is eligible to enter into a new marriage.

Divorce in Frederick County online

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  • We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
  • We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
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  • We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
  • We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.

Divorce Courts in Frederick County, Maryland

Frederick County Circuit Court
Judge Name:
G Edward Dwyer, Jr. Theresa M. Adams William R. Nicklas, Jr. Scott Rolle Julie R. Stevenson Solt
Clerk Name:
Sandra Dalton
Court Address:
100 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland 21701
(301) 600 1976
(800) 341 8797
Clerk Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m