Maryland has some of the most restrictive divorce rules of any state. Only recently have Maryland divorce law been relaxed to allow for immediate no-fault, consensual divorce proceedings. However, even though less cumbersome than previous laws, Maryland still requires certain criteria be met before one can file a Complaint for Absolute Divorce.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on all terms of the divorce, such as division of property, alimony and custody, visitation, and child support when children are involved, a mutual consent divorce will not be available to you. Additionally, you must also agree on all financial aspects of the divorce. That includes disposal (by purchase from the other spouse or sale to a third party) of real property, investment accounts, personal property, and retirement accounts. Once all aspects of the marriage are accounted for, the parties may enter into a Marital Separation Agreement or Property Settlement Agreement. These agreements must be in writing and executed by both parties. They are voluntary, and one party may not force the other to execute the agreement. Once they are fully signed, either party may file an uncontested divorce action in the county where either of them resides or works. The matter is then set in for a hearing before a Judge or Magistrate.
Since the commencement of the Covid-19 pandemic, many counties are allowing these hearing to be handled remotely. A Judgment of Absolute Divorce will be signed by the Judge after the hearing is complete.
To get more information about divorce law in Maryland, please contact the Law Offices of Nicholas T. Exarhakis. We offer a free telephone consultation.