Before getting a divorce in Maryland, you should familiarize yourself with the Maryland Divorce Laws. If you are considering a divorce, you and your spouse should also consider counseling. After a few counseling sessions, you may find that you are able to resolve your differences and no longer need a divorce. Even if you are not able to resolve your differences, counseling will better equip you for the emotional impact of divorce.
Are There Prerequisites to Getting a Divorce in Maryland?
Before a court may grant an absolute divorce, the couple must establish one of the following six grounds for divorce in Maryland. Some of them include:
- Cruelty and harsh conduct
- Criminal conviction of a felony or misdemeanor
Separation, also known as a no fault divorce, is one of the most common ways to get a divorce in Maryland. Separation allows the court to dissolve a marriage as long as the parties have lived separately for 12 consecutive months, without cohabitation, and without a hope of reconciliation. Once the 12 month waiting period passes, both parties are free to proceed with a divorce.
How Can I Get Time With My Kids?
Child custody is either negotiated privately between you and your spouse, or is determined by a judge. The best way to be sure you get time with your kids is to work out an arrangement with your spouse in a “Settlement Agreement.” If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement, courts will decide your children’s best interests. Even if you don’t get full custody of your children, you may still be awarded generous visitation rights under child custody and visitation rights in Maryland.
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How Do I Negotiate Child Support?
Child support will be determined by the Maryland Child Support Guidelines under the Family Article. Courts consider a number of factors when calculating child support, including: the financial means of both parents, which parent has primary custody of the children, and the needs of the children. Child support worksheets are available online to help you negotiate child support payments. Read more about child support laws in Maryland in our full article.
How Do I Navigate Alimony?
A judge may determine that alimony, or spousal support, is necessary in some cases. When a court determines the amount and duration of alimony payments it considers several factors, including: the financial means of both parties, the length of the marriage, the age of each party, the cause of the dissolution of the marriage, and the family living standard.
Maryland divorce law is a complicated subject. It is best to consult with an attorney. An experienced Maryland divorce attorney like those at Zirkin and Schmerling Law can help you understand the different aspects of divorce law and protect your rights throughout the entire process.