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How Long Does a Divorce Take in Maryland {Updated 2023}

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It is essential to have an understanding of the Maryland divorce process in order to make navigating its complexities more manageable. This blog post will provide valuable insight into the different types of divorces available, how long they take, and factors that influence their length as well as steps taken throughout, such topics include child custody rules and regulations, alimony payments among others. It gives information on “How Long Does a Divorce Take In Maryland 2023?” offering all-important details relating to support services for both parties involved along with property division cases in law which govern this area of practice within the state’s boundary lines.

Key Takeaways

  • Recent changes to Maryland divorce law have simplified the process of obtaining a divorce.
  • Duration of a divorce is dependent on type, complexity and parties’ ability to reach agreement. Can be as short as six months.
  • In Maryland, a divorce typically takes 30 to 120 days from the time of reaching a Marital Separation Agreement for it to be finalized.

Maryland Divorce Process Overview

In Maryland, the law surrounding divorce changed in 2023. With the change of Maryland divorce laws, clients have had a range of questions about how long divorce in Maryland will take in 2023.

Recent amendments to this legislation have made getting an “absolute” easier by offering more options for grounds such as mutual consent or irreconcilable differences after just six months of separation has been established. This simplified process allows couples to part ways quickly to begin crafting separate lives.

Absolute Divorce

In Maryland, the law has been significantly modified in regards to absolute divorce criteria. This serves to make it more available for couples wanting to end their marriage. The changes include replacing twelve-month separation with six months as grounds for filing and permitting mutual agreement or irreconcilable differences as acceptable justifications. This reduces the need of living separately along with removing fault-based reasons used while divorcing – so all parties involved won’t have to be subject to trying attempts such as citing adultery or desertion when they are staying under one roof – which makes proceedings both amicable and straightforward overall.

Limited Divorce

In Maryland, the concept of limited divorce has been eliminated as of October 2023. Limited divorces allowed parties to attain relief from issues including child custody and alimony without ending a marriage legally.

This repeal leaves couples seeking legal separation having to consider alternatives such as filing for an absolute divorce or taking advantage of expedited options available when it comes to dissolving their marriages.

Factors Affecting Divorce Duration in Maryland

A father with his dog and child

Divorce proceedings in Maryland are influenced by multiple elements, such as the circumstances of divorce, complexity of case and the capacity to agree between parties. Cases with children or issues regarding asset division/custody take about a year to be finalized. Non-contested no fault divorces can end within six months. To expedite this process, certain points have been proposed: trying out alternative resolutions (e.g. mediation), resolving any outstanding matters through legal counsel and mitigating disputes without hostility – all while keeping low amounts shared assets. Through these recommended steps, it’s possible that the time taken during separation could become significantly shorter than expected in Maryland.

Key Steps in the Maryland Divorce Process

A couple during the Maryland divorce process

In Maryland, the divorce proceedings typically start with filing a complaint on approved grounds and delivering summons to the other party who then has 30 days for answering. Subsequently, there are court hearings like scheduling ones, Pendente Lite sessions as well as settlement conferences associated with completing this process of divorce.

Filing the Complaint

The process of filing for an absolute divorce in Maryland is conducted by completing and submitting the Complaint for Absolute Divorce form to a court. The new grounds that have been adopted permit couples to obtain their divorce via mutual consent, six-month separation or irreconcilable differences. If parties are divorcing on terms of a joint agreement, they must sign off on a marital settlement contract. All necessary steps when engaging with this type of dispute should take place before proceeding into the procedure.

Serving the Summons

When initiating the divorce process, filing a complaint is only one step. Once that has been done, and divorce papers have been filed, then serving the summons to the other party needs to be carried out and there are various procedures for doing so in Maryland: having an individual aged 18 or over do it, hiring a private service agency, using sheriff’s department services. In each case, after being served with papers regarding their divorce proceedings, they have different response times depending on where they reside – 30 days if located within state lines of Maryland itself, 60 from another American State and 90 overseas.

Court Hearings and Conferences

During the divorce process, various court proceedings and conferences take place in order to establish a timeline for the case as well as solve any unresolved matters. The Scheduling Conferences determine when each step of this procedure will occur while Pendente Lite hearings create temporary custodial arrangements until later decisions are rendered.

The merits hearing is what ends up concluding all divorces. It involves both parties presenting evidence before a judge or master who then makes final rulings concerning topics like child custody, division of assets and alimony payments that can only be challenged if one side opts for an appeal.

Child Custody and Support in Maryland Divorces

The state of Maryland has a process for divorce that takes into account child custody and support, with both legal and physical aspects considered. When making determinations about who gets what type of legal custody, the court looks at things such as how close the relationship is between parent and child, and job status in order to communicate decisions effectively while also minimizing disruption to the kid’s life.

For calculating appropriate levels of financial support from one partner to another, Maryland uses Child Support Guidelines which factorizes incomes as well as number/size of children before arriving at an answer. This ensures enough resources are being provided so kids get all their needs met without hassle or worry on either side regarding insufficient care due to lack of funds.

Property Division and Alimony

In Maryland, divorce courts are tasked with equitably distributing marital property between the two parties. Factors such as length of marriage and financial status will be taken into consideration when allocating assets along with any grounds provided for dissolving the marriage. To that, alimony may also be awarded to a receiving spouse in three distinct forms: pendente lite support during separation proceedings. Rehabilitative payments help recipients acquire independence post-divorce. Or indefinite maintenance should they lack resources due to age or disability precluding them from employment opportunities.

Looking for more Information? Download our FREE Guide “5 Common Fears of Divorce”

Expedited Divorce Options in Maryland

In Maryland, an uncontested divorce through mutual consent is one option couples have to expedite the divorce process. This type of agreement requires both parties to come up with a written decision concerning child custody and support as well as dividing assets in advance. Depending on how quickly such agreements are reached, the overall duration for this form of divorcing.

Mediation serves another useful avenue for speeding up proceedings by avoiding lengthy court litigations while fostering better communication between spouses looking at finalizing their split amicably over issues including property division and custodianship rights linked to children involved.

Common Delays and How to Minimize Them

The divorce process in Maryland can be hindered by various factors such as when one party relocates out of state, communication between spouses breaks down or the complexity arises during property division. To ensure a quicker resolution and minimize delays with your divorce case, it is important to maintain open communication channels with your spouse. Consider engaging in mediation for amicable dispute resolutions and seek legal counsel for guidance throughout the whole divorce process. Following these steps will help you reduce time on this matter and achieve an easy settlement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a divorce if both parties agree Maryland?

In Maryland, a divorce typically takes 30 to 120 days from the time of reaching a Marital Separation Agreement for it to be finalized, depending on court capacity and judge availability.

What is the fastest way to get a divorce in Maryland?

For the quickest route to divorce, an uncontested, no fault twelve month separation is recommended. It’s important to establish the separation date in order to meet the twelve-month mark for filing a complaint for absolute divorce.

What are the new divorce laws in Maryland 2023?

On October 1st, 2023 Maryland will abolish the limited divorce law and replace it with two new grounds for splitting up: separation over a period of six months, and irreconciliable differences.

These newly introduced criteria apply to all divorces lodged after that date in the state.

Does Maryland have a waiting period for divorce?

In the state of Maryland, parties wishing to file for a divorce must first meet the residency requirements. Once that is accomplished, an absolute divorce can be granted without having to wait if both sides agree. There is no compulsory waiting period needed before filing for dissolution of marriage in this jurisdiction.

What are the types of divorce available in Maryland?

In Maryland, two forms of divorce existed up until October 2020: absolute and limited. Since then, the latter has been removed from options available to couples who are seeking a dissolution of marriage in this state.

How Maryland Family Lawyer Can Help

To ensure the best outcome for all involved, understanding Maryland’s divorce laws and procedures is vital. Being proactive in communication can reduce delays while exploring possible expedited divorce solutions available. This will create a smoother path forward towards fresh beginnings after navigating the challenging period of divorcing in MD. Key elements to consider are types of separation, as well as steps within the process that should be taken into account.

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