Maryland Divorce Law Requirements
Divorce Residency Requirements in Maryland
The filing spouse may file the divorce papers in Maryland if the grounds for divorce happened within the State and that either spouse is a resident of Maryland. If the grounds for divorce happened outside the State of Maryland, the residency requirement for the petitioner and the respondent is not shorter than one year. If the ground for divorce is insanity, the residency requirement for the parties is two years.
Maryland Grounds For Divorce
Maryland recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. No-Fault means there is no need for either party to prove who was responsible for the marital union to collapse.
No Fault Grounds:
- Voluntary separation of parties for a period of 12 consecutive months without cohabitation and probability of reconciliation
- Involuntary separation for at least two years
- Adultery committed by either party
- Criminal Convictions
- Drug or alcohol abuse for at least two years
- Cruelty and excessive vicious conduct of one spouse over the other
- Confinement to a mental institution due to insanity for at least three years
Child Custody Law in Maryland
In determining physical and legal custody, Maryland puts the child’s best interests first. The court may grant either a joint or sole physical and legal custody, depending on the circumstances and pieces of evidence presented in court.
In a joint legal custody, both parents are granted the opportunity to contribute in making important decisions concerning the child’s development and activities. However, that doesn’t equate to equal amount of time for the child to spend with both parents.
In a sole legal custody, only one parent gets granted the right to decide on important matters in the life of the child.
The parent who gets granted physical custody gets to raise the child in his or her home while the non-custodial parent gets visitation rights.
In the event that a joint physical custody is awarded, the child gets to live with both parents in their respective homes, on schedule. The child, in this case, retains two addresses.
Guidelines for Maryland Child Support
The State of Maryland provides a comprehensive set of guidelines in the computation of child support, which is based on the Income Shares Model. Typically it’s the non-custodial parent that is obligated to pay child support.
Child support shall be in effect until the child reaches 18 years old or until he or she finishes secondary school.
Where to file for a divorce?
The petitioner may file the Maryland divorce complaint in the county of residence of either party.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Maryland online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Maryland Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce proceedings are generally less painful and stressful if uncontested. Parties to a divorce complaint may opt for a mediation settlement before or after filing the Maryland divorce papers to resolve any disputes on child support, custody, properties, among others.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Maryland Courts for more information