Marriages are meant to last forever, but sometimes that isn’t how it works out. Instead, married couples sometimes find that they can no longer work together to keep their marriage intact and must get a divorce for both of their lives to improve. Getting a divorce in Maryland is a little tricky, and there are some hoops some couples must jump through. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer to represent you in your Clarksville, MD divorce can make the process a lot easier for everyone involved.
The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, has extensive experience in family law, in particular Clarksville divorce. We are sensitive to the emotional aspects of family cases, especially those that involve child custody. Our legal team is well-prepared to handle your divorce case and well-versed in the complexities of Maryland law as it pertains to divorce and other areas of family law. We have successfully represented thousands of satisfied clients within the Maryland legal system, and we can do the same for you. The worst mistake you can make is not hiring an attorney. We are happy to speak with you about your case and offer legal advice and representation as necessary.
Maryland’s divorce laws are unlike those of other states. For one, there are two types of divorce in Maryland: limited divorce and absolute divorce. A limited divorce consists of a set of rules that are established temporarily until the couple meets one of the required criteria for divorce. These rules apply until one party:
An absolute divorce, on the other hand, ends the marriage permanently. Grounds for divorce are extended to include the occurrence of one of the following acts:
There are also two types of absolute divorce in Maryland: fault and no-fault. There are certain grounds that constitute a fault divorce, along with certain residency requirements depending on where the grounds for divorce took place.
In a no-fault divorce case, in which there are no valid grounds for divorce, a couple must have lived separately for at least six months in separate addresses without intimacy to be eligible for a no-fault divorce in Maryland. For an at-fault divorce in Maryland, if the grounds for divorce occurred in Maryland, there is no residency requirement other than that you, or your spouse, are a current resident when you file for divorce. Otherwise, if the grounds for divorce occurred outside of Maryland, either you or your spouse must reside in Maryland for a minimum of six months before you file for divorce.
There is another ground for divorce, and it applies to no-fault divorce cases. A mutual consent ground for absolute divorce has been permissible in Maryland since 2015. This special exception can eliminate the waiting period requirement. However, the couple must have a well-written and practical divorce agreement drawn up for the court’s review to be eligible for a mutual consent divorce.
If you think you and your spouse can agree on every detail of your case, including a fair parenting plan, you may qualify for a mutual consent divorce that has no required waiting period. If you’re considering this route, the most important thing to understand is that the form required to file with the Maryland family court, and the agreement document, must meet the qualifications of the court precisely. Otherwise, your case will be returned, and you’ll have to refile. This method eats up time and money. A much easier and quicker way is to let a Maryland family attorney draw up this document for you and file it properly. That way, there is little to no risk of it getting returned, and you won’t have to pay court fees repeatedly each time you refile.
If your no-fault divorce is contested, and you and your spouse cannot come to any agreeable terms, you will need to get a divorce through the Clarksville divorce court. Divorcing couples are usually ordered by the Maryland family court to attempt family mediation before going before a judge. A judge will hear your divorce case if family mediation does not turn out well. Either way, contested no-fault divorcing couples must first endure a 12-month separation period with no intimate relations, and no chance of reconciliation, while living in separate residences.
There are a lot of technicalities when filing for divorce in Maryland. For instance, there are residency requirements, separation requirements, and other ambiguous laws that you may not fully understand as they apply to your case. A family law attorney who is well-educated on Maryland’s divorce laws can explain these laws to you and make legal proceedings easier and less stressful. There is no guesswork when you have an attorney as a resource to guide you through court dates, filing fee deadlines, and other minute but important details. Having an attorney ensures that you can get it right the first time and don’t waste time on human error amid family court proceedings.
Another reason to have legal representation for family law matters is to protect your rights. You have a lot to lose in terms of your rights in cases that involve life-changing legal matters, such as:
Having an attorney who can protect your interests on your behalf can mean the difference between two very different potential outcomes for your case.
Alimony is not mandatory in Maryland divorce cases unless the court finds that it is necessary, according to Maryland’s Divorce Code of 1980. Alimony, or spousal support, can be required by the court (court-ordered) to be paid by either of the parties in a divorce, whether it is a heterosexual divorce or a same-sex divorce.
The court fee to file for divorce is around $215, depending on the county where you file. The average cost of a divorce in Maryland is between $5,000 and $10,000 per person, though this number can be much higher in more complicated divorce cases that require a trial. High-asset or complex divorces can cost as much as $30,000 or more.
Maryland is an equitable distribution state for the division of marital property in a divorce. This means that several factors are used to determine property division when it is left to the court to decide. It is not necessarily an even split, and the wife isn’t automatically entitled to a certain amount but rather a fair portion of marital assets based on the specific circumstances and determining factors of the marriage.
The timeframe for a divorce in Maryland depends on the type of divorce, for which a couple can be subject to a six-month or one-year waiting period, according to the details of the divorce. Once a separation agreement has been filed, an absolute divorce can take anywhere from 30 to 120 days to be finalized by the court. It can take longer depending on the court’s caseload and the judge’s availability in the county when you file. A mutual consent divorce is another option that requires no waiting period for those who qualify.
In Maryland, a limited divorce is more like a legal separation because the couple is still technically married. Limited divorces allow divorcing couples time to work out child visitation, custody, property division, and alimony before getting an absolute divorce. Maryland family courts are committed to giving spouses the opportunity to agree on these issues outside of court, so a limited divorce aims to fulfill that before using court resources to have a judge make those decisions.
If you think your marriage might be headed for divorce, the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, is prepared to help you work through the next step that is ideal for your family’s situation. Our legal team strives to offer our clients the most practical advice we can. We tell you the truth about your case and help you develop a legal strategy that works to your advantage. Call the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable and caring Clarksville family lawyer today.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044