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Glen Burnie Divorce Attorney

Trusted Throughout Maryland Since 1997

The divorce process in Maryland is more complex than in many other states.

There arWoman holding ring for divorcee numerous criteria the couple must meet before a full or absolute divorce can be granted. Because of this complexity, it is advisable to work with a lawyer rather than attempting to file the divorce on your own.

At Ward & Co., Chtd., an experienced Glen Burnie divorce attorney can guide you through the divorce process as well as related issues such as custody and name changes.

Contact Ward & Co., Chtd. to learn more about the divorce services we offer.

What are the Types of Divorce in Maryland?

Maryland has two types of divorce: absolute divorce and limited divorce. In the case of an absolute divorce, the marriage is fully dissolved and each party is permitted to remarry. In order to successfully obtain such a divorce, the parties must go through either a separation for the duration of a year or demonstrate one of the following: desertion, adultery, excessively vicious conduct, cruelty, insanity, or criminal conviction.

The court supervises limited divorces. In a limited divorce, the couple is still married but is living apart. You may receive temporary orders for child custody and spousal support during a limited divorce. Limited divorces are granted for reasons such as cruelty, excessively vicious conduct, desertion or if both parties are living separately.

Our divorce lawyers in Glen Burnie MD can pursue an agreement that's in your best interests in:

In addition, we represent same-sex couples who are separating and need assistance with division of property and child custody matters. We also have experience with military families and employees of the federal government. We understand the importance of accurately dividing retirement benefits.

How to File for Divorce in Maryland

Whether pursuing an "absolute divorce" or a "limited divorce," the couple must settle on terms related to how their property and assets will be divided, the custody and support of their children, and alimony as well. One of the spouses must be married for a least one year before filing for divorce. The couple must also have been living apart for 12 months before filing. If not, the courts may find that there are grounds for a fault-based divorce.

The process of divorce begins with the complaint, which is filed by the plaintiff spouse in court. A copy of the complain is made and a court clerk issues a "Writ of Summons," both of which are then "served" to the defendant spouse. The defendant spouse will have 30 days to answer the complaint (60 days if the defendant is out of state and 90 days for a defendant spouse who is outside of the United States). The defendant spouse has the opportunity to claim grounds for divorce that may differ from the plaintiff spouse.

What Is a No-Fault Divorce in Maryland?

According to Maryland Code Family Law Section 7–103, pursuing a "no-fault divorce" can be accomplished if both spouses agree to the terms of the agreement and are seeking an absolute divorce.

Here are some important notes regarding a no-fault divorce include:

  • At least one of the spouses must be a resident of Maryland.
  • The couple should have been living apart for at least one year, without sexual intimacy.
  • Both spouses mutually consent to the divorce with a written settlement agreement.
  • The courts must agree that all of the terms of the agreement are decided in the best interests of the children, if the couple share any.
  • Both spouses will need to go to court to attend an absolute divorce hearing .

If one or the other spouse does not show for the hearing, the judge may delay the final outcome of the divorce or even outright deny the divorce petition.

IF I CAN FILE FOR DIVORCE ON MY OWN, WHY SHOULD I WORK WITH AN ATTORNEY?

Divorce is a legal process that is enormously complex. While many people may think they have the answers to everything, divorce has many aspects that need resolving. A lawyer—such as one from our firm—understands all aspects of the divorce process. They can make sure that nothing is overlooked, and that the final agreement that serves your best interests.

WHAT HAPPENS TO PROPERTY A DIVORCE?

There are two kinds of property: marital property and non-marital property. Only marital property is divided in a divorce. It is considered any property that a spouse obtained during the course of a marriage or shared with marital assets. If you cannot reach an agreement on how to divide this property, the judge will make a determination on how to divide property. Non-marital property, which can include gifts, inheritances, and other assets, will typically not be divided.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH MY CHILDREN?

Maryland law assumes the automatic arrangement for children will be a joint custody arrangement. This means that parents will play an equal role in the children's lives, both spending time with them and making crucial decisions about their future and upbringing. However, if there is a disagreement, the court will decide a child custody arrangement based on what the judge believes is truly in the best interests of the children's well-being. Additionally, payments for child support are calculated based on various factors, including the child custody arrangement.

HOW LONG WILL A DIVORCE TAKE?

The length of a divorce varies depending on whether it is contested or uncontested. However, state law says that a judgment cannot be granted until 30 days after the petition was filed. If a divorce is litigated, it will take longer, likely prolonging the proceedings by months.

Do You Have Grounds for Divorce in MD? Contact Ward & Co., Chtd.

You do not have to go through the divorce process alone. Contact our firm to speak with experienced divorce lawyers in Glen Burnie, MD today. We have more than 40 years of experience and are ready to answer any of your questions or take on your case today. When you are ready, do not hesitate to give us a call.

Call Ward & Co., Chtd. at (410) 775-5955 to learn more about your options when it comes to divorce in Maryland.

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How to Reach Us 410.775.5955 308 Crain Hwy NW, Suite 203
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