Divorce papers in Maryland — filing for divorce in MD

Online divorce in Maryland

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How to get divorce in Maryland

The information below will help the interested person understand more about the divorce in Maryland.

The common steps of how to get divorce in Maryland:


Divorce in the state of Maryland is called Absolute divorce. In order to get a divorce in Maryland, the marriage must be legal, that is it was entered into in accordance with all the conditions of the Maryland law.


The spouse must comply with the state's rules of residence, as well as the spouse must have grounds for divorce.


If the spouse could not reach an agreement before filing a Maryland divorce papers in court, then the decision on the disputes will be made by the judge at the meetings after analyzing the factors that have developed in the marriage,that can delay the process of ending the marriage.


The last step is filing a lawsuit in court, after which the interested person is obliged to provide copies of the Maryland divorce papers to the spouse or what else it is called to serve the spouse. After this, the court requires a waiting period from 30 to 90 days to grant a divorce.


The last step is filing a lawsuit in court, after which you are obliged to provide copies of the Maryland divorce papers to your spouse or what else it is called to serve the spouse. After this, the court requires a waiting period from 30 to 90 days to grant a divorce.


If the interested party decided that he or she wants a divorce in Maryland, then he or she must comply with the state's rules of residence. State law requires that one of the spouses be a resident of the state before filing a lawsuit. If the grounds for divorce have occurred outside the state, then one of the spouses must reside in the state for at least 1 year before the filing of the claim.

However, if the reason for the divorce is insanity, then the plaintiff must reside in Maryland for at least 2 years before filing a lawsuit.

If both spouses agree with the dissolution of the marriage, then the court will grant a divorce in one year after the filing of the claim.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Maryland

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In order to obtain a divorce in Maryland the following grounds are accepted by law:




Desertion, which is final and lasted for 12 months before the filing of the claim in court without the couple's cohabitation, and there is no hope for reconciliation;


Voluntary separation that lasted for 12 months before the filing of the claim in court without the couple's cohabitation, and there is no hope for reconciliation;


If the spouse has committed an offense and received a sentence for this before filing a lawsuit to the court, he or she was sentenced to serving a term of 3 years or for an indefinite period, with the condition that he or she was in a correctional institution for at least 12 months after sentencing;


Separation of spouses, which lasted for 2 years before the filing of the claim in court and without the couple's cohabitation;


If one of the spouses is insane, while he or she is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for at least 3 years before filing a lawsuit.Please note that if in the divorce form documents the spouse specifed this reason for the divorce, then during the hearings the court will hear at least two doctors who must confirm that the spouse's insanity is indistinguishable and there is no hope of recovery. An additional condition for obtaining a divorce in Maryland by this reason should still be that one of the spouses must be a state resistor for 2 years before applying to the court;


Ill-treatment or violence by one of the spouses directed at the plaintiff or child living in the family;

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Annulment of the marriage in Maryland

Another way to terminate a marriage is an annulment. The annulment is different from divorce by the fact that those marriages that never existed are included in the annulment, they were concluded with violations of the rules of Maryland and state law does not recognize them as legal.

Reasons for recognizing a marriage as invalid:

  • The marriage was forced;
  • One of the spouses was mentally ill during the marriage ceremony and did not have the opportunity to give his or hers consent to the marriage;
  • One of the spouses was already married at the time of the wedding ceremony, while the previous marriage was not terminated;
  • One of the spouses has not reached the age that is established by law for marriage;
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Custody of the child in Maryland

Custody of the child

In order to make a decision on custody in the state of Maryland, there are not any clear rules, nevertheless courts will consider the following factors to make a decision:

  • The wishes of the child;
  • The conformity of the parents;
  • Financial condition of each spouse;
  • The desire of parents to be a guardian and their reputation;
  • Age, health, sex of the child, as well as the mental and physical parameters of the parents;
  • The ability of parents to communicate with each other and overcome disagreements when deciding on the upbringing of a child;
  • Employment of parents;
  • Any other circumstances that the court considers important;

The judge may award sole custody to one parent or joint custody to both parents. If the interested party wish to move to another state with his or her child, the interested party must provide written notice to the court and other party at least 90 days before he or she intended move.

Rules for child support in Maryland

With the divorce in Maryland, the law requires the spouse to provide financial assistance to their minor children born in wedlock until they reach the age of 19 or finish high school. The Incomes Shares model is used by the state. The model is based on the number of children in the family, their age, the parents' gross income and the number of nights the child spends with each parent, including medical expenses, training, and other factors.

In some cases, the court may deviate from this model if it considers that the amount that is calculated to support the child is unfair. Take into account that in the Maryland divorce papers the interested person has to list all his or herincome and expenses as well as financial situation of his or her spouse to give the court ability to calculate the sum of child financial support.

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Rules for spousal support in Maryland

Rules for spousal support

The court has the right to award alimony for any type of divorce in the state of Maryland. Their amount will depend on the following factors:

  • Ability of the requesting spouse to support herself;
  • The time needed by the requesting spouse to acquire the necessary skills or knowledge to get a good job;
  • The standard of living habitual to spouses during marriage;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Any contribution (monetary, physical, emotional) that each of the spouses made in the marriage;
  • The financial needs and capabilities of each spouse;
  • Marriage agreement between spouses;
  • The circumstances that led to the severance of relations;

The court can award payment of alimony for an indefinite period, if it is ascertained that the supplicant really needs long-term support. If there is no marriage contract between the spouses or any other agreement regarding alimony or the period of their payment, the payment will be terminated in the event of the death of the spouse or if the requesting spouse remarries.

If in your divorce form documents indicated that the reason for the divorce is the spouse's insanity, then the court may require the performance of the following, provided that at least two doctors must confirm that the spouse's insanity is indistinguishable and there is no hope of recovery:

  • Provide financial support to the insane spouse;
  • Provide one-time support to the insane spouse based on the expected duration of the patient's life, as well as pay the costs of his or her funeral;

Property division in Maryland

Property division

To the common property belongs all property which was acquired by the couple during the marriage. Everything that the spouses possessed prior to marriage or that went to them by the way of inheritance or donation is a separate property and is not subject to division.

When dividing a common property in Maryland as in many other states, the equitable distribution rule is used, which means that the property will be shared fairly between the spouses, but this does not always mean that in equal shares. When a court decides on the property, it analyzes the following factors that interested person is required to indicate in the Maryland divorce papers:

  • The length of the marriage and the age of each spouse;
  • Any contribution (monetary, physical, emotional) that each of the spouses made in the acquisition of property;
  • The economic situation of each spouse for the decision point;
  • The level of health, physical and psychological indicators of each of the spouses;
  • When and by what means the property was acquired, including the efforts that each of the parties made to accumulate property;
  • The value of all property interests that a couple possesses;
  • Grounds for divorce;
  • Any other factors that the court deems essential;

Divorce without a lawyer in Maryland

It is possible apply for a divorce in Maryland without the services of a lawyer. Depending on which county the interested person lives, the process of divorce in the state of Maryland can vary.

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Mediation support in Maryland

State law does not oblige spouses to resort to the help of mediators in the process of divorce, however, either party can do it voluntarily if he or she sees that a third party is able to resolve disputes between spouses.

Divorce forms in Maryland

The specific Maryland divorce papers that interested person should fill out will depend on the county in which he or she sue, as well as on the circumstances of the case, nevertheless there are a number of forms that need to be filled in anyway, they are: "Complaint for Absolute Divorce "And the" Civil Domestic Case Information Report".

Uncontested divorce in Maryland

Uncontested divorce in Maryland

The essence of uncontested divorce is that the spouses have agreed on all the issues in the case, and this significantly speeds up the process of ending the marriage.

In Maryland, there are no strict rules for the uncontested divorce, nevertheless if the interested person applying for it, then the following items must be fulfilled:

  • The spouses have no disputes over the custody of minor children, financial payments, alimony, property separation and any other provisions that may cause a dispute; 
  • The interested person must have grounds for divorce, which correspond to the grounds for an absolute divorce, but in that case he or she will stumble with the fact that he or she will have to prove the fault of the spouse. To get around this the interested person can indicate in the Maryland divorce papers that he or she were separated from the spouse and did not cohabit for at least 12 months before filing the claim. 
  • The interested person must meet the requirements of the state regarding the residency. 
  • The divorce form documents must be submitted to the court in whose county the spouses reside, or whether they work regularly.

How to serve divorce papers in Maryland

State law obliges the interested person to provide copies of Maryland divorce papers and "Writ of Summons" to the spouse before the hearing begins.

It is possible to do this in several ways, for example:

  • Any person who is not involved in the divorce process and who is over 18 years of age can transfer documents to the spouse personally or his / her lawyer;
  • Ask the sheriff from district in which the spouse resides to transfer documents;
  • Use the help of the Private Process Server, which is a faster way than sending documents through the sheriff, however, and more expensive;
  • By mail - it is needed to use this method of sending, so that upon receipt the spouse signs a paper receipt. Similarly, the law of Maryland requires that the papers were sent not by the plaintiff, but by another person who is not involved in divorce;

After the documents are sent on the hands we must have a receipt that the interested person notified the spouse about the beginning of the divorce, this receipt is also worth registering with the court. After that, the court has 30 to 90 days to grant a divorce.

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Filing fees for divorce in Maryland

Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.