If you are contemplating divorce, an experienced Maryland lawyer can provide guidance on the process. Although a divorce may be an emotional experience, our office will guide you through the process with dignity, direction and confidence.
We are experienced in and can assist in mediation to resolve all issues, and often recommend this alternative approach to dispute resolution. We are talented in creative problem solving including resolving complex financial issues arising out of divorce. Such issues may arise with respect to identification of “non-marital property”, ownership interests in closely held corporations, property benefits, such as stock options, real estate transactions, trusts, and retirement assets. We take a comprehensive view of such issues in connection with each client’s unique case and interests.
In order to file for divorce in the State of Maryland, certain requirements must be met. If these requirements are not met, the case may be dismissed. We can assist in determining the appropriate grounds and jurisdiction for your action.
In the State of Maryland, an absolute divorce may be granted on the following grounds, subject to certain requirements:
- Desertion (if it has continued for at least 12 months without interruption);
- Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor in any state or in any court of the United States (if before filing for divorce the defendant has been sentenced to serve at least 3 years or an indeterminate sentence in a penal institution, and has served 12 months of such sentence);
- One year separation when the parties lived separate and apart without cohabitation for one year without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce;
- Cruelty of treatment toward the filing spouse or a minor child of the filing spouse; or
- Excessively vicious conduct toward the filing spouse or a minor child of the filing spouse.
Effective October 1, 2018, the ground of Mutual Consent allows divorcing spouses, even if they have minor children in common, to file for an absolute divorce without waiting a full year, and even without living separate and apart, provided that the parties meet the following criteria:
- The parties sign and submit to the court a written settlement agreement, which agreement resolves all issues relating to alimony and the distribution of property between the parties, as well as resolves all issues relating to the custody and support of any minor children of the parties;
- Neither party files a pleading to set aside the written settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing and
- After reviewing the written settlement agreement, the court is satisfied that any terms of the agreement relating to minor or dependent children are in the best interests of those children.
If an absolute divorce cannot yet be granted under Maryland law, a limited divorce may legalize the separation for a limited or an indefinite period of time, provided that your case meets at least one of the grounds permitting the entry of a limited divorce.
If you are contemplating divorce in Maryland, our office can assist you with understanding the nuances of the divorce process, and whether and the best course of action based on the facts and circumstances of your particular situation.