10 Common Questions Concerning Divorce in Maryland
The dissolution of a marriage cis often a difficult process. In addition to the emotional toll, there are legal and financial issues that must be worked through. This can make for a volatile situation and it is important to have sound legal counsel tailored to your specific situation during this time to ensure that your rights are protected. Below are common questions asked about divorce in Maryland. Please note that this cannot substitute for the advice of an attorney for your specific case. If you have specific questions about your situation, please contact us or schedule a consultation.
1. What are Maryland Divorce Laws?
The laws governing divorce in Maryland are codified in the Family Law Article of the Maryland Code. Title 7 of the Family Law Article deals specifically with residence requirements, limited divorce, absolute divorce, protective orders, restoration to maiden or former name etc. The Family Law Article of the Maryland Code can be found online for free at the Maryland General Assembly website at: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Laws/Statutes .
2. Are Maryland Divorce Records Public?
Generally speaking, divorce records like most court records in Maryland are a matter of public record and are available to the public through the Maryland Judiciary website at : http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/casesearch/ . It is possible in some cases to have the court records sealed so that they cannot be accessed by the public.
3. Where to get a Maryland Divorce Decree
Obtaining a divorce in Maryland requires a formal order from court granting an absolute divorce. This means that in all cases where a person is seeking a divorce in Maryland, they must first file a complaint for absolute divorce with the court to start the formal process of getting a divorce.
4. How Divorce Works in Maryland
The Maryland code lays out several grounds for divorce. One way to think about grounds for divorce is to think of them as formal reasons that a court will allow a person to get divorced. Grounds for divorce in Maryland fall under two general categories: fault and no-fault grounds. Fault grounds may be thought of as where one person’s actions are the “cause” of the breakdown of the marital relationship. Fault grounds include: Adultery, Desertion, Cruel Treatment, Insanity, and Incarceration. No fault divorce grounds are One-year Separation and Mutual consent.
5. How to divorce in Maryland without a lawyer
In considering how to get a divorce in Maryland, people often ask if it is possible to go through the divorce process in Maryland without a lawyer. However, the divorce process can be rather complicated. Anyone requesting a divorce in Maryland has to show the court specific grounds for the divorce which can be either fault based grounds or no fault based grounds. Even with no-fault based grounds such as mutual consent, specific documents must be prepared and filed, and strict processes must be followed properly for the divorce to be granted. An experienced Maryland Family Law attorney can help you through the process, many times for a low flat fee in the case of an uncontested divorce. It is not a good idea to consider a Maryland Divorce without a Lawyer.
6. What Does Divorce in Maryland Cost ?
Contested divorce matters based on fault grounds (such as divorce Maryland for Adultery, Desertion, Cruel Treatment, etc) can be expensive. It is not unusual in these types of cases for a legal retainer to start at upwards of $5,000 and for the total amount for legal fees in the case to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. For uncontested cases based on no-fault grounds such as Mutual Consent or One-Year separation, an experienced Maryland Family Law Firm may be able to offer a low fixed flat fee for representation.
7. Divorce in Maryland with child
A divorce in Maryland with minor children (i.e. children under the age of 18 years) makes the matter more complicated because the issue of child custody has to be adjudicated by the court. With this, the judge must determine what is in the best interest of the child or children. If the matter is contested, meaning there is no agreement between the parties, the custody issues themselves can often lead to prolonged and difficult litigation. Even in cases where the custody issues are agreed to beforehand by the parties, the judge would still have to review the arrangements to ensure that they are in the best interest of the children. A qualified Maryland Divorce and Custody Lawyer can help you better understand your rights under Maryland Divorce and Custody Laws.
8. Is There a Maryland Divorce and Separation Law Book?
There are many sources of good information about divorce and custody in Maryland. Court websites, as well as websites of not for profit organizations such as the People’s Law Library can provide good generalized information.
However, it is important to understand that every case is different and what may be appropriate in one set of circumstances may not work or may not be appropriate for your specific case. Only an experienced Maryland
9. Maryland Divorce vs. Legal separation
Maryland does not technically recognize “legal separations”. However, it is possible to get a limited divorce under Maryland Law. With a limited divorce, the court can address some issues (i.e. such as child custody or issues concerning finances), without actually ending your marriage. In practice, for the time and expense that it would take to get a limited divorce, most people would find it better to just get the absolute divorce.
10. Can a get a Divorce by Mutual Consent in Maryland?
Yes. A no fault “Mutual Consent Divorce” is perhaps the quickest and most cost effective way to get a divorce in Maryland. To be able to get a divorce on the grounds of mutual separation the court requires that the parties prepare and sign a written settlement agreement that settles all issues concerning alimony, distribution of property, family home, personal property and child custody, visitation and child support for children under the age of 18. The signed settlement agreement must be submitted to the court as part of the divorce filings and no party must have asked to have the agreement overturned prior to the final divorce hearing. It is a good idea to have this settlement agreement prepared or at least reviewed by an attorney to make sure that it meets all the requirements.
11. Where can I find a divorce attorney near me?
We are here to help. We are your local Maryland divorce and custody litigation firm. We serve clients throughout the State including in Washington County, Frederick County, and Montgomery County. With our easy online scheduling, after hours phone reception and zoom and teleconference options for consultations, we are the answer to the often asked question: Where can I find a divorce lawyer near me? Book an initial consultation with one of our attorneys now at www.badakilawfirm.com.