You’ve decided that you are ready to file for divorce and you live in the state of Maryland, right? Well, before you start gathering forms and filling them out, there are a few things you are going to need to know about filing for divorce in MD. For starters, you need to determine whether your divorce would be classified as a limited or absolute divorce. If you are wondering what the difference is between the two, below we offer the definitions of both according to the Maryland Courts.
- Limited Divorce– A limited divorce “allows the parties to have some important issues resolved but does not end the marriage.” Those who file for a limited divorce have “child-related issues, financial matters, or other issues that need to be addressed before the parties are eligible to file for an absolute divorce.”
- Absolute Divorce– An absolute divorce, on the hand, “fully dissolves the marriage and usually resolves all related issues, including property.” After an absolute divorce has been granted, you are permitted to remarry.
But wait, there’s more.
The next thing you have to determine when you are eligible to file for an absolute divorce is which ground for divorce applies to your situation. While most people think they can just up and leave their spouse, that isn’t necessarily the case. You see, you need to meet one or more grounds for filing before the courts are going to award you the divorce. So, what are the grounds for filing for divorce in Maryland? There are actually quite a few which include:
- You meet the 12-month separation period. During this period, you and your spouse must have lived separate from one another in “separate residences, without interruption, without sexual intercourse for a period of 12 months or more before the date of filing [your] complaint.” When the courts refer to your complaint, it simply means your request for a divorce.
- Actual Desertion
- Constructive Desertion
- Criminal Conviction of a Felony of Misdemeanor
- Cruelty/Excessively Vicious Conduct Against You or any Minor Children
- Mutual Consent
Now, if you’re saying to yourself, “I’ll just file on the ground of mutual consent,” there are still requirements that must be met before you can do this. In order for the courts to accept mutual consent as your grounds for filing for divorce, you must provide a written settlement from you and your spouse that indicates that all issues related to alimony, property, and the care, custody, access, and support of minor or dependent children have been resolved.
After you have established what type of divorce you are filing along with the corresponding ground for doing so, you will then need to determine which paperwork must be filed and if there are any other requirements that must be met based on your current circumstances. Now although many will contact the Maryland Courts to find out what steps they need to take aside from those we have mentioned, remember, the courts will not provide you with any advice and are not a lawyer who is looking out for your best interest.
With that said, the courts may be less inclined to walk you through the steps you need to follow or help you better understand the divorce process. Therefore, rather than trying to figure it out on your own or using the vague information you may have been given, why not contact a Rockville, MD divorce attorney who will be more than happy to take the time needed to explain the process to you. The divorce lawyers at Barkley & Kennedy located in Rockville, MD will not only help you better understand the divorce process, but they will also represent you throughout the duration of your case to ensure a successful outcome is obtained.
You can contact Barkley & Kennedy now at 301-251-6600 to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about the many ways this firm can help you.
You can reach Barkley & Kennedy at:
51 Monroe Street, #1407
Rockville, MD 20850