Maryland Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers MD


Maryland enjoys a low divorce rate of 3.0% per 1,000 of population which makes it 5th lowest in the country.Maryland family court law has specified both no-fault and fault divorce grounds for giving and obtaining divorce legally. These grounds must be presented before the court with substantial proof.

Annulment is of two types in Maryland; void ab initio and voidable. No court advice is required in the earlier type but, yes in the later one you require that. Whatever few cases there are of annulments in Maryland, those are normally obtained under the name of divorce. Although annulment is filed for in some states but the preference with the people of Maryland is divorce not annulment. Divorce attorney’s or divorce lawyer’s advice must be received, before any furtherance of annulment.

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Divorce Grounds in Maryland

In Maryland and almost every other state of the US, the divorce rate is not that high as it is estimated. Generally it is difficult to gauge the divorce rate in any state because a divorce never occurs in the same year of marriage.

Following are the divorce grounds in Maryland:

One Year’s Mutual and Voluntary Separation

Mutual and voluntary separation is a common ground for ending up in divorce in Maryland. It means living separate and apart of two spouses, for one year without any break. It is likewise the informal separation in which the spouses try to sort out their differences. After which they can either divorce or reconcile.


One of the grounds for divorce in Maryland is abandonment i.e. withdrawing support or help despite allegiance or responsibility.


If one of the spouses is confined to a mental institution for at least three years, for treatment of any mental disorder, the other spouse can claim divorce.


Adultrey is another legitimate divorce ground in Maryland. “out of wedlock, when an adult boy or girl commits sex that wilfully and maliciously interferes with marriage relations”.

Conviction of a Mis-demeanor

Crime is a chief reason to get divorced. It is also a valid divorce ground in Maryland. This will be liable if one of the spouses has been imprisoned for one year under a sentence of three or more years. Both the spouses have a right to seek divorce against the accountable one.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in Maryland.

Maryland Divorce Laws

Maryland has following divorce laws:


The Maryland divorce laws require a spouse to be a resident for one year, if the grounds for the divorce took place outside Maryland. Else if either spouse lives in Maryland, he or she may file in the county in which either spouse resides. In case of you are filing for divorce under the insanity ground for divorce, the residency requirement is 2 years.

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Documents Required for Filing Divorce

The essential documents enforced by Maryland divorce laws include:

  • Bill for Divorce and
  • Decree of Divorce.

Other documents that are normally filed during the process are:

  • Civil – Domestic Case Information Report
  • Certificate of Service (for Complaint)
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Financial Statement (Plaintiff)
  • Answer to Complaint
  • Request for Hearing

Distribution of Property

According to Maryland divorce laws, the court will let the spouses sort out the issues regarding property and debt. If they are unable to agree, the divorce court will declare the distribution on its own discretion. The court may transfer ownership on the basis of following:

  • A pension, retirement, profit sharing, or deferred compensation plan, from one party to either or both parties.
  • Subject to the consent of any lien holders, family use personal property, from one or both parties to either or both parties.

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

The court shall grant a change in the name of a spouse to either the name given at birth or any other name as per Maryland divorce laws.

Mediation Counseling

In case one of the spouses has denies under oath the charge of irretrievable breakdown of marriage, the court considers the circumstances that gave rise to filing the petition and the prospect of reconciliation. The court then provides an arbitrator to settle down the matter.


According to Maryland divorce laws, the court may award alimony for an indefinite period, if the court finds that the spouse is seeking alimony due to: Age, Illness, Infirmity or Disability.

Child Custody

As mentioned in the Maryland divorce laws, the Child Custody will be awarded to either or both parents in accordance with the best interests of the children. The state of Maryland considers no specific factors to award child custody, but the emblematic factors are (though not limited to):

  • Age
  • Health
  • Parents contributing roles
  • Child’s wishes

Child Support

Like other states, Maryland child support guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information in your state.

Maryland Annulment Laws

Annulment is the court’s decree that the marriage was never valid or the marriage is void. To get an annulment in Maryland, you have to base your case on an annulment ground recognized by the Maryland annulment laws. Following are the legal Maryland annulment grounds:


The term consanguinity means ‘related by blood’. According to Maryland annulment laws, a person cannot get into marriage with a blood relation like parent, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, nephew, uncle or niece. The annulment claimed on the basis of this ground is legal.


Maryland annulment laws say that a person must be single to enter into a marriage. If a person is already married and enters into another marriage with someone else, it is bigamy and it is a valid Maryland annulment ground.


Impotency in a partner is a legal annulment ground in Maryland. However to get annulment on this annulment ground, you have to prove that the respondent is unable to meet your physical and sexual needs.

Mental Disability

You can also obtain annulment under Maryland annulment laws, if your spouse has some kind of mental disability both temporary and permanent.


If you have been forced into a marriage, you can get annulment according to Maryland annulment laws.

Maryland Divorce Laws Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long will it take to get a Maryland divorce?

    To get a divorce in Maryland, you have to spend a mandatory separation period of one year. Since there is a long list of clogged up cases and one has to wait for a mandatory separation period of one year, a Maryland divorce takes quite some time for processing.

  2. Is adultery possible in same-sex relationship?

    The answer to this question is “NO”. According to the Maryland divorce laws, adultery is the sexual intercourse between a married person and a paramour. Intercourse means the penetration of a male orgasm into vagina. So, in same-sex relationship adultery is not possible.

  3. What is the minimum residence period for filing a divorce?

    You must be a resident of that state in which you are claiming a divorce for atleast six months or more. To get a Maryland divorce, it is mandatory to pass this residency period.

  4. Is it compulsory for both spouses to be the resident of that state in which divorce is filed?

    To obtain a Maryland divorce, atleast one of the spouses must fulfill the residency requirements. Even if the other spouse is not a Maryland resident, the divorce will be valid.

  5. Is sexually transmitting any disease a divorce ground in Maryland?

    If your spouse is suffering from STD and you are in danger of getting infected with the disease since you are having sexual relations with him or her, you can file a petition for divorce on this divorce ground in Maryland.

  6. Who will have the custody of children?

    Maryland divorce laws dictate Maryand courts to decide the child custody issue. Child’s interests are taken in account before physical, legal or joint custody is granted to one or both of the parents.

  7. Is there any no-fault divorce ground in Maryland?

    There are two no-fault divorce grounds in Maryland, on which no-fault divorces in Maryland are granted: * Voluntary separation for one year * Voluntary separation for two years

  8. What should a person do in case of domestic violence?

    A person who is suffering from domestic violence should go to the state district or circuit court in Maryland and request a relief from the violence.

  9. What is voluntary separation?

    Voluntray separation is when both the spouses agrees to live separately without any physical and sexual relations.

  10. Is it necessary to hire a Maryland divorce lawyer for divorce?

    There is no restriction in Maryland that you have to hire a divorce lawyer or divorce attorney to claim a divorce. You can fight for justice on your own in case you do not want to hire a divorce lawyer.

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