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Maryland Divorce Laws

Every state has hurdles you have to jump through to get married. Similarly, states also have legal requirements for divorce that define the process married couples must go through to get divorced. Spouses in Maryland must be state residents for at least one year, but once the other legal requirements are met, there's no waiting period before a divorce is final. The standard grounds for divorce include adultery, desertion, cruelty, or incurable insanity.

Maryland Divorce Laws at a Glance

The requirements to get divorced can vary from state to states. Maryland's divorce laws are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

Fam. Law §7-101-103

Residency Requirements

If grounds occurred outside the state, one party must have resided in state 1 yr. before filing.

Waiting Period

Upon meeting requirements, absolute divorce granted.

'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Separation (2 yrs. or voluntary for 12 months); limited divorce for cruelty, vicious conduct; separation; desertion.

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

Recrimination or condonation is a factor but not an absolute bar.

Other Grounds for Divorce

Adultery; desertion for 12 mos. without interruption; insanity (confined for 3 yrs.); conviction of crime (sentenced for at least 3 yrs. and served at least 12 months); cruelty, excessively vicious conduct; voluntary separation grounds for limited divorce.

No Fault Divorce Laws

Maryland is one of many states that offers what has come to be known as a “no fault” divorce. In a no fault divorce, you do not have to allege or prove any specific wrongdoing in order to get a divorce.

Under Maryland law, you only have to demonstrate that you and your spouse have been separated for involuntarily for two years or voluntarily for 12 months. Maryland law also provides alternatives to the standard divorce known as an annulment and legal separation, which have separate requirements and only apply to certain circumstances.

If you and your soon-to-be ex have any children together, you should also be aware of Maryland child custody laws, as well as state statutes pertaining to child support guidelines.

Get a Review of Your Maryland Divorce Case

The divorce process can be emotionally and legally tumultuous, even in the best-case scenarios. Since divorce often involves child custody and other intangibles, it makes sense to protect your interests by hiring an attorney. Get started today by having a Maryland divorce attorney evaluate your case.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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