Montgomery County Divorce Attorney Serving Maryland Family Law Clients

Whether you are planning to file for divorce, or your spouse is doing so, being faced with a divorce is probably one of the most stressful experiences you can face. You need an attorney who can minimize that stress and help you through the twists and turns of the Maryland divorce process.

At the Law Offices of Dana K. Whitten, we are committed not only to helping you achieve the legal outcome you want from your divorce, but giving you the support you need every step of the way. The first step in advocating for you is listening to you: hearing your issues and concerns, understanding the unique facts of your case, and helping you identify your goals for divorce and the life you'll build afterward.

Understanding Divorce in Maryland

Divorce affects almost every aspect of your life, and even if planned, it can make life seem out of control. Most people who go through divorce are doing so for the first time, and the process can be intimidating. We believe in empowering you not only by listening to you and making sure you are heard, but by informing you about the legal process so you will know what to expect.

In Maryland, there are two types of divorce: limited divorce and actual divorce. Limited divorce is similar to what many people would refer to as a legal separation: it governs the rights and responsibilities of spouses who live apart, but does not actually end the marriage relationship. Absolute divorce is what most people think of when they refer to divorce; it completely severs the marriage relationship, divides property and debts, and establishes child custody, spousal support (if any), parenting time, and child support.

In Maryland, you cannot obtain a divorce on the ground of “irreconcilable differences.” Instead, there must be an assertion that one party is entitled to a divorce based on one of the grounds established by statute. There must also be testimony by a corroborating witness at the time of the divorce hearing by the party seeking the divorce.

Grounds for Absolute Divorce

There are a number of ways to get an absolute divorce.

  • Divorce by Mutual Consent is available if you and your spouse do not have minor children together; if you submit a written settlement agreement containing certain terms to the court; and if you both appear at the divorce hearing.
  • The most typical ground for divorce is if you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for twelve consecutive months without cohabitation.
  • You may also be granted an absolute divorce based on one of the following grounds:
    • Adultery;
    • Desertion;
    • Cruelty of treatment;
    • Excessively vicious conduct;
    • Insanity, or
    • One spouse having been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor with at least a three-year sentence.

No matter the circumstances of your divorce, you can rely on the Law Offices of Dana K. Whitten to offer you the legal guidance, advocacy, and support you need from beginning to end.

Residency Requirements for a Maryland Divorce

It is important to make sure, before filing for divorce, that you qualify under the Maryland residency requirements. In Maryland, if the grounds for divorce occurred outside of the state, one of the spouses must have resided in Maryland for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. Either spouse may file for divorce in Maryland. The divorce may be filed in a county where either spouse resides, or where the spouse being sued for divorce works.

Compassionate, Competent Legal Representation for Your Maryland Divorce

Attorney Dana Whitten represents clients in courts in most Maryland counties, including Montgomery County, where our Rockville office is conveniently located near the courthouse. We invite you to contact us at (301)637-6070 or using our online contact form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Maryland Divorce