top of page

Navigating Divorce in Maryland: A Comprehensive Guide

The Full Story

Divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage, dissolving the bonds of matrimony between two individuals. It is a significant legal step that terminates not only the marital relationship but also the associated legal obligations and responsibilities. Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally charged process, often involving complex legal and financial issues. At FIBI Law Center LLC, we are committed to providing you with compassionate and knowledgeable legal support to help you navigate this difficult time. This guide will help you understand the essential aspects of divorce under Maryland law, ensuring you are well-informed and prepared.

Types of Divorce in Maryland

There are two main types of divorce in Maryland: uncontested and contested.

 

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all major issues involved in dissolving their marriage. These issues typically include:

  • Division of property and debts

  • Alimony or spousal support

  • Child custody and visitation

  • Child support

Since there is mutual agreement on these matters, an uncontested divorce is usually simpler, faster, and less expensive. The process generally involves filing a complaint, a separation agreement, and court approval. Uncontested divorces can be finalized relatively quickly, often within a few months, depending on the court’s schedule.

 

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when the spouses cannot agree on one or more key issues, necessitating judicial intervention to resolve the disputed matters. The process generally involves:

  • Filing a Complaint

  • Response and Discovery

  • Pre-Trial Proceedings

  • Trial, if no agreement is reached

  • Final Judgment

Contested divorces are typically more time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining due to the complexities involved in litigation and the need for multiple court appearances. They can take several months to years to conclude, depending on the case's complexity and the court’s schedule.

 

Grounds for Divorce

Maryland law recognizes both "no-fault" and "fault-based" grounds for divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

  • A no-fault divorce can be granted if the spouses have been living separately and apart for 12 months without cohabitation. To file for divorce in Maryland, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state. If the grounds for divorce occurred outside of Maryland, the filing spouse must have resided in Maryland for at least six months before filing. Alternatively, a divorce can be based on mutual consent if both parties agree in writing on all issues, including property division, alimony, and custody arrangements.

Fault-Based Grounds

  • Fault-based grounds for divorce in Maryland include adultery, desertion, cruelty, and excessively vicious conduct. These grounds require proof and can significantly impact the divorce proceedings, particularly concerning alimony and property division.

Property Division

  • Maryland follows the principle of "equitable distribution" rather than equal distribution. This means that the court will divide marital property in a manner that it deems fair and just, though not necessarily equally. Factors considered include the length of the marriage, contributions to the marital estate, the economic circumstances of each spouse, and the needs of any children involved. Marital property encompasses all assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of how they are titled. Non-marital property, such as assets acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gift, is typically excluded from the division.

Alimony

  • Alimony, also known as spousal support, is not automatically awarded in every divorce. Whether alimony is granted depends on various factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial needs and resources, their respective earning capacities, the standard of living during the marriage, and any contributions made by one spouse to the other's education or career advancement. Alimony may be temporary or permanent, and the amount and duration are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Child Custody and Support

  • Maryland courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. Custody can be legal (decision-making authority) or physical (where the child lives), and both can be joint or sole. Factors considered include the child's age, health, emotional ties with each parent, each parent's ability to meet the child's needs, and any history of abuse or neglect.

 

Child support in Maryland is calculated based on the income shares model, which considers the combined income of both parents and the needs of the child. The amount is determined using state guidelines, but courts have discretion to deviate from these guidelines in exceptional cases.

 

Duration of the Divorce Process

The duration of a divorce process in Maryland varies depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, court caseload, and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.

 

Alternatives to Traditional Divorce Litigation

  • There are alternatives to traditional divorce litigation in Maryland, including mediation, collaborative divorce, and arbitration. These alternative dispute resolution methods offer couples a more amicable and private way to resolve issues related to their divorce outside of court. They can often result in faster, less costly, and less adversarial outcomes compared to traditional litigation.

 

Conclusion

Divorce is a significant life transition that requires careful navigation of legal, financial, and emotional challenges. At FIBI Law center LLC we understand the complexities involved and are dedicated to providing the personalized and knowledgeable representation you need. Whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation, our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

 

If you’re looking to start your divorce proceedings, work with a group of attorneys who understand your predicament. At the FIBI Law Center, we will work with you through every step of your divorce and help you get the settlement that you deserve.

 

 

If you have any questions or require further clarification, feel free to contact us directly at:

•           Email: info@fibilawcenter.com

•           Tel: 1(240) 366 0004 (Direct)

•           Tel: 1(240) 366 0005 Ext 1001.

bottom of page