Filing for Divorce in Maryland

Representation for Divorce in Annapolis, and surrounding jurisdictions. Anne Arundel County, Calvert County, Queen Anne’s County and the Eastern Shore, Howard County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City

One of the most frightening aspects of going through a divorce, negotiating child custody, or dealing with any other aspect of family law, is the unknown. Unfamiliar experiences and uncertain outcomes making real, permanent changes to your life can be very stressful, and our empathetic yet tenacious approach to your case will give the confidence that we will protect you and do all we can to achieve a positive outcome.

What is an Absolute Divorce?

An absolute divorce permanently ends a marriage. The final divorce decree specifies how property is to be divided, alimony, custody of any minor childrenchild support payments, and any changes to the last name of either spouse. Jointly owned property is divided equitably, which may or may not mean equally. Any agreements, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will be enforceable during a divorce. In order to file for an absolute divorce, the person must have grounds for the divorce.

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?

Grounds for divorce in Maryland include:

  • 6-month separation
    • You and your spouse must be living separate and apart for six consecutive months OR 
    • You and your spouse may still be living in the same house, but you both have pursued separate lives for the past six months
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Mutual consent

What is Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested must have two factors:

  1. Both parties agree to get a divorce
  2. Both parties have reached a full and final agreement on all issues relating to you divorce, which usually are memorialized in a separation agreement, (known as a Marital Settlement Agreement). The issues to be included would be physical custody, legal custody, child support, alimony, and property division.

Some of the common issues that both parties can agree on pertain to things like division of assets, child custody, visitation, and more. Because you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all outstanding issues, an uncontested divorce takes less time, costs less money, and is much more amicable than a contested divorce.

It is important to remember that both parties do not have to completely agree on terms right away. Our firm can take you step-by-step on each of the processes, as we know how stressful this entire ordeal can be.

What is Contested Divorce?

Contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot reach a full agreement on all outstanding issues, not agree upon grounds for the divorce. Certain issues that are disagreed on frequently may include:

  • Who gets custody of the child/children.
  • How much child support should be paid.
  • The amount or term of alimony.
  • If the validity of a prenuptial agreement be proven.
  • How the property should be divided.
  • The grounds for divorce.

If your case does not settle before trial, then a judge will decide any of the contested issues. The divorce attorneys at Rice Law have decades of trial experience and will be fierce advocates for you in the courtroom.