The Ultimate Guide to Divorce in Maryland: E-book Download

The Ultimate Guide to Divorce in Maryland_image of eBookThe prospect of divorce can be overwhelming and even paralyzing in some circumstances. But in the United States, 40-50% of married couples file for divorce. In fact, the average length of marriage in the United States is just around 8.2 years, with the four most common causes of divorce including lack of commitment, infidelity or extramarital affairs, too much conflict and arguing, and lack of physical intimacy.

Sound familiar? These facts aren’t to diminish your own situation but rather to remind you that divorce is common, and because it’s common, it’s easy to prepare for — especially with the help of a family law attorney. Preparation is truly the key to feeling empowered throughout this process, so let’s start with some fundamentals before you dive into my Ultimate Guide to Divorce in Maryland.

Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

First, to get divorced in Maryland, the grounds for divorce must have occurred in Maryland, or you or your spouse must have at least resided in Maryland for six months prior to filing.

Now there are two types of grounds you can file on: a no-fault ground for divorce and grounds based on the fault of a spouse. The no-fault grounds for divorce can involve either a 12-month separation or a divorce by mutual consent, where you and your spouse reach an agreement. A fault-based divorce requires you prove your spouse was in fact at fault, and this has caused the dissolution of your marriage.

There are seven fault-based grounds that can be cited for divorce, and you’ll need to prove one or more of them before a divorce will be granted:

  • Cruelty of treatment
  • Excessively vicious conduct
  • Adultery
  • Desertion (i.e., one spouse left the marriage for at least 12 months)
  • Insanity
  • Conviction of a crime
  • Voluntary separation for at least 12 months

Absolute Divorce vs. Limited Divorce

There are also two types of divorce you can file for: an absolute divorce, which permanently dissolves the marriage, or a limited divorce, which is what we consider a legal separation.

When filing for an absolute divorce, a person must state the grounds (or reasons) for the divorce, which include:

  • One-year separation
  • Mutual consent
  • Adultery
  • Desertion for over 12 months
  • Cruel treatment and excessively vicious conduct
  • Insanity
  • Incarceration

In a limited divorce, you remain legally married while living apart. So if you decide to remarry, you’ll need to return to court and ask for an absolute divorce. Grounds for a limited divorce include:

  • Separation (for any length of time)
  • Cruel treatment or vicious conduct
  • Desertion under 12 months

Why am I telling you all this? No, you don't need a limited divorce to separate from your spouse and start the 12-month waiting period for absolute divorce. Yes, separation happens any time you and your spouse stop living together and stop having intimate relations. However, a limited divorce allows you to get the court’s help resolving how you and your family will live during that separation.

In most cases, I recommend filing for a limited divorce so that you can eventually obtain an absolute divorce decree after the 12-month separation period. Realistically speaking, it can take the court about 12 months to process your divorce case, which means that even if you have been separated for less than 12 months, by the time you get to trial, you will be able to request an absolute divorce decree. So, starting a limited divorce proceeding before you are eligible to file a complaint for an absolute divorce gets the ball rolling on these issues and increases the chances that your absolute divorce proceeding will resolve soon after it is filed.

Ultimate Guide to Divorce in Maryland E-book

What else do you need to know to prepare? While it’s going to take you anywhere from one to three months to prepare, my divorce e-book is a great place to start. I’ll walk you through the first six steps you need to take to get prepared, including:

  1. Choosing and hiring a lawyer
  2. Organizing your finances
  3. Taking inventory of personal property
  4. Creating a budget for your post-divorce expenses
  5. Changing your beneficiary designations and power of attorney
  6. Prioritizing your mental health

Aside from these six steps, the Ultimate Guide to Divorce in Maryland will educate you on everything you need to know, including additional steps and considerations if you have children.

The Child Custody Process

I’ll cover what the court considers the best interest of the child in child custody cases, as well as provide a run down of the primary custody factors in Maryland, different forms of custody, and tips on what can help or harm your case.

How to Calculate Child Support

You’ll learn about the formula called the Maryland Child Support Guidelines for determining child support, how it’s calculated, what child support should cover, and when it’s appropriate to seek amendment.

How Alimony is Determined

I'll cover the different types of alimony based on circumstance as well as the factors Maryland courts consider when determining alimony.

The Guidelines for Property Division

This e-book explains how Maryland courts define property and equitable distribution, what monetary awards are, and the guidelines for property division in Maryland.

The fastest and cheapest way to divorce in Maryland

Plus, if you missed my blog post on this one, I’ll break down the quickest, cleanest and cheapest way to divorce in Maryland today.

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