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Maryland Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in Maryland, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Maryland should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Maryland Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Maryland Divorce Professional.

  • A couple married or living in Maryland for at least one year, or two years depending on the grounds of divorce specified, can file for divorce.
  • Maryland Family Law recognizes eight different grounds for divorce. Adultery, desertion (for at least 12 months), voluntary separation (for at least 12 months), imprisonment (with a sentence of at least three years and at least 12 months already served), living separate and apart (for at least two years), hospitalization of one spouse for insanity (for at least three years), cruel treatment toward the other spouse or a minor child (with no reasonable expectation of reconciliation) or excessive vicious conduct toward the other spouse or a minor child (with no reasonable expectation of reconciliation). For the court to grant a divorce based upon any of these grounds, they must be proved in court through evidence and testimony.
  • Alimony is awarded on a case-by-case basis. The court decides the amount and duration of spousal support, based on what it considers a fair and equitable award for both parties.
  • Under Maryland law, child support is determined based on the Income Shares Model. Therefore the monthly support amount for the child is proportionally shared between the two parents based on their incomes, past W-2s, and child support worksheets. One parent will then pay the other parent his or her share of child support. Considerations will also be made for existing debt, property settlement, mortgages, other children or any other financial considerations.
  • Maryland law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.

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