As you might already know, the divorce procedure, costs, and time can differ greatly from state to state. There are no federal divorce laws in the United States. So, it is important to understand the requirements and procedures specific to the state you live in.

This article is part of our series on how to file for divorce in different states. It’s a question that a lot of people seeking a divorce want to know. And, when it comes to filing for a divorce in the U.S. the process differs on a state by state basis.

If you reside in Maryland, this article is for you. We will share with you how you can file for divorce in what is known as the “America in Miniature” state. 

How To File For Divorce In Maryland:

1. Meet The Residency Requirements

To file for a divorce in Maryland, you must meet the state’s residency requirements. 

By law, at least one of the spouses needs to have been a resident of the county in which they file for a minimum of six months.

2. Prepare Your Forms

The next prerequisite to file for a divorce is to prepare the state required forms. The mandatory forms within the state of Maryland are the Complaint for Absolute Divorce form and the Civil Domestic Case Information Report form.

Depending on the county where you or your spouse live, you may have additional required forms to fill. You must also have grounds for divorce. 

3. File For A Divorce

You will file for the divorce in the county’s courthouse, where at least one of the spouses resides. After filing for your forms, you are required to pay a court fee. 

The average filing fee in Maryland is $165. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can ask for a fee waiver. 

If you are the defendant and your spouse filed a divorce against you, you need to respond as quickly as you can. Otherwise, your spouse can get a default/uncontested divorce. 

4. Serve Your Forms

There are multiple ways in which you can serve your spouse the divorce complaint. These three ways are:

  • Sheriff deputy
  • Private process service
  • Through a non-party at the age of 18

Once service is completed, The spouse served has 30 days to respond. If the divorce is filed outside of the state of Maryland, the time frame may be extended; up to 60 days. If you are served and you are out of the country, it can be extended up to 90 days.

But if your spouse is in jail, deployed in the military, or you cannot locate them, you may have to try another way of serving your forms. In this case, we suggest you check the court clerk about service.

5. Disclose Your Finances

During the divorce, there has to be financial disclosure between the two spouses regarding the following:

  • Income
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Income
  • Joint property and debts

What are the Types of Divorce in Maryland?

In Maryland, there are two types of divorces; these are absolute divorce and limited divorce. 

Absolute Divorce in Maryland

First, absolute divorce is that which legally ends a marriage. There must be a legal ground for a divorce for it to be absolute. 

You can file for a divorce for the following fault grounds:

  • Insanity with at least 3 years confinement in a mental institution, hospital, or other institution
  • Adultery
  • Intentional Desertion of at least 1 year
  • Abuse and cruel treatment
  • Felony conviction of at least 3 years sentenced and 1 year of service
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Limited Divorce in Maryland

On the other hand, limited divorce is not a legal separation, although it can help settle a scope of issues. There must also be a legal ground for a divorce even if it is limited. 

You can file for a limited divorce for the following fault grounds:

  • Intentional Desertion of at least 1 year
  • Abuse and cruel treatment
  • Separate living without cohabitation and sexual relationship

Maryland is a no-fault divorce state. This is the most common divorce. It simply means that the filing spouse does so on the grounds that the marriage has broken down and cannot be fixed. 

In conclusion, we hope that this article has been informative and provided you with more clarity on how to file for divorce in Maryland.

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