Divorce Law In Maryland
If you are dealing with the emotional aftermath of a separation, understanding the intricacies of divorce law in Maryland can seem overwhelming. In the midst of so many major life changes, some people fail to take stock of all of their options or understand their rights and responsibilities. However, it is more important than ever for you to understand the steps for divorce law in Maryland in case your separation proceeds to a divorce. We have compiled this basic list of concepts to understand about divorce law in Maryland, in order to assist you in this very trying time.
Understanding Grounds For Divorce
In order to file for divorce in Maryland, you will need to offer an explanation for your separation to the court. These explanations are called the “grounds for divorce,” and range from infidelity to desertion to the spouse’s conviction of a crime. Maryland divorce law accepts many grounds for divorce, including a “no-fault” ground that only requires the couple to live separately for a period of time. Couples that do not have minor children can also obtain an absolute divorce by providing a mutually agreed-upon separation agreement that finalizes every element of their separation. For a fuller explanation, read our article on grounds for divorce in Maryland.
Types of Divorce In Maryland
There are two types of divorce in Maryland: absolute divorce and limited divorce. A limited divorce simply means that the couple decides to live apart and separate their assets. It is not permanent and can be reversed. Absolute divorce, on the other hand, is very permanent. It finalizes the division of assets and allows both spouses to remarry later if they choose to do so. Because this is a serious and impactful decision, the court requires more serious grounds to be established before it will grant an absolute divorce. These include adultery, a separation longer than 12 months, excessively vicious conduct, or a felony conviction. Read more in our article about types of divorce in Maryland.
If you feel like you need some legal help, contact our Family Law attorney to schedule a case evaluation today.
Understanding Custody Law In Maryland
Couples are obviously concerned about what will happen to their children after a divorce and how often they will get to see them. Divorce law in Maryland gives parents plenty of ways to be involved in their children’s lives. Physical custody, also known as access, determines how much time the child spends with each parent and how much child support is owed. Legal custody involves the rights of parents to make decisions for their children, such as their child’s school, doctors, and religious practices.
Both physical and legal custody can be primarily assigned to one parent or shared between both parents, depending on the family situation. Parents who are able to make joint decisions in their child’s best interest are often granted equal legal custody over their children. To learn more about how courts determine custody after a divorce, read our in-depth article on custody law in Maryland.
Child Support According To Divorce Law In Maryland
Parents also often wonder if they will need to pay child support before and after the divorce. Under divorce law in Maryland, every parent is required to support their child financially until they reach adulthood. If the parents have separated or divorced, the court sets an amount for one parent to pay to the other. Courts draw this determination from many factors, such as each parent’s income and the cost of basic needs like healthcare. Maryland child support law provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for establishing how much each parent should reasonably pay to provide for their child’s needs. However, each case is unique, and knowledgeable legal counsel is important. Read our article on child support in Maryland for more information.
Division of Property In A Maryland Divorce
Maryland is an equitable distribution state. This means that the Court will make an “equitable,” as opposed to an “equal” distribution of property after a couple has divorced. Any property that was owned prior to the marriage is considered non-marital property. Courts do not consider non-marital property when deciding how to split up the marital estate. Marital property includes all property obtained during the marriage, no matter who paid for it or how it is titled. Of course, all property titled as tenants by the entirety, such as the marital home, is considered marital property. Property may be divided either by agreement between the parties, or through equitable distribution by the court. Every case is different, so you need an attorney who will work hard for you to ensure that you obtain a fair distribution of your assets.
If you want to protect your interests and build a solid case, you need to have a complete understanding of divorce law in Maryland. Zirkin and Schmerling Law is here to answer all of your questions about this challenging period of your life. To learn more about the divorce process or speak to one of our experienced attorneys, call 410-356-4455.