Filing for a divorce from a partner is a difficult choice that can affect you and your family for years to come. You may have to consider a number of issues, such as spousal and child support and the division of property. When handling these legal issues, it is important to understand all your options. If you need legal assistance to file for divorce in Maryland, you should consult with an experienced Maryland divorce attorney as soon as possible.
Rice, Murtha & Psoras understands how a divorce can affect your life, and we are committed to providing you with the legal representation you deserve. Our family law attorneys possess years of experience litigating complex divorce cases for our clients, and we would be pleased to work with you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss the details of your case, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291. You may also contact the firm online to schedule your free consultation.
Types of Divorce in Maryland
Choosing to file for divorce will require a person to consider a number of factors. For example, before you can even begin to file a divorce in the State of Maryland, you must first satisfy the residency requirements. Before you are able to file for divorce in Maryland, you or your spouse must have lived within the state for at least a year.
Additionally, it is also required that each spouse live separately from each other for at least one year before they can file for divorce. However, it may be possible to make an exception to this rule under certain circumstances.
When filing for divorce, you should be aware that there are two types of divorce a spouse can choose from in Maryland: absolute divorce and limited divorce.
An absolute divorce occurs when a marriage is legally dissolved, and all related matters are handled, which can include property division, child custody, and other factors. This form of divorce is typically used when each spouse can come to an agreement without the aid of the court. Once an absolute divorce is complete, the spouses can then remarry.
Alternatively, a limited divorce is used when the spouses cannot agree on certain matters and needs the assistance of the court to deal with a number of issues. It is also important to note that Maryland does not acknowledge legal separation, as many other states do.
What are the Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?
Before spouses can divorce in Maryland, either spouse must show that they have a valid legal reason for the divorce. For example, if one spouse was deserted by the other spouse for months or years, this could be used as grounds for filing a divorce. It is important to note that Maryland recognizes different reasons for divorce, depending on the type of divorce that a spouse wishes to file. The following are some legal reasons that a spouse can use as their justification for a limited or absolute divorce in Maryland:
- Grounds for Limited Divorce
- Separation from a spouse
- Abusive or cruel behavior against a spouse
- Abusive behavior towards a child
- Grounds for Absolute Divorce
- Either spouse has been incarcerated for a crime
This is not an exhaustive list. It is also possible for spouses to file for a no-fault divorce. When pursuing a no-fault divorce, both spouses are required to execute a settlement agreement.
If you wish to learn more about how divorce works in Maryland, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland divorce lawyer today.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File Divorce in Maryland?
When handling divorce in Maryland, there are multiple factors that must be considered before you can successfully complete a divorce. Because of this, an attorney is highly encouraged, and often crucial, to increase the success of your Maryland divorce lawsuit. As mentioned, spouses can file for an absolute divorce if they agree on all matters pertaining to the divorce. However, if you and your spouse cannot agree on one or multiple matters, you will have to file a limited divorce to resolve any outstanding issues.
Other Family Law Issues that Impact Maryland Divorce Lawsuits
The following are some factors that must be resolved before a couple can file for divorce in Maryland.
If you and your spouse had a child, it would be necessary to determine whether the spouses will have joint custody or one spouse will have sole custody. There are multiple factors the court will consider when deciding which parent gains custody of a child:
- The fitness of the parents
- The best interests of the child
- The child’s preference if they are old enough to choose
- Residences of each parent
- Whether one parent has a history of abuse
This is not a comprehensive list. There are many other factors that may be considered.
Distribution of Property
The distribution of property is another important issue that must be resolved before a divorce can be complete. If the spouses cannot agree on how to divide marital property, the court may use analyze many aspects of each spouse’s life. For example, if one spouse was a stay-at-home parent and has not been a part of the job force for multiple years, this may affect the distribution of marital property.
There are many other issues that must be considered when litigating a divorce, and our firm is here for you every step of the way.
Speak with Our Skilled Maryland Divorce Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you are in the midst of a divorce and you require legal assistance, you should contact an experienced Maryland divorce lawyer immediately. Rice, Murtha & Psoras can help you file your divorce and resolve other related legal issues that may arise during your divorce proceedings. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss the details of your divorce with a Maryland family law attorney, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291. You may also contact our legal team online.