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How long does it take to get divorced in Maryland?

Every divorce case is different. Some divorces may be granted after a few weeks or months. Other cases may not be settled until a year or more has passed. The type of divorce that is requested, the reason (also known as grounds) why the divorce is being sought, evidence, testimony and other contributing factors can determine how long it will take for a particular divorce to be accepted or rejected.

Can I get my divorce expedited?

Some people may want to have their divorces granted in as little time as possible. There are many reasons why couples and individuals would rather have their marriage ended sooner rather than later. They may be tired of dealing with their former partner and want to move on. Others may already be looking toward the future and enjoying a new career or relationship. Certain individuals may feel the need to move on because they are relocating to another city, state or country. Having to wait for the divorce to be finalized can hinder their plans.

Do I have to provide a reason as to why I’m asking for a divorce?

The petitioner (the person who makes the initial complaint) must supply one or more reasons as to why they want to get divorced. Common grounds for divorce include adultery, excessively vicious behavior, desertion, separation, insanity, cruelty and imprisonment. These are known as fault-based grounds for divorce. They must be proved in court.

What is a no-fault divorce?

Parties can also file for a no-fault divorce. Neither person accuses the other of any wrongdoing as a primary reason for wanting to dissolve the marital union. This type of divorce is not unusual and may speed up the process, especially if both sides agree on important matters.

For a no-fault divorce, partners will typically mutually consent to the divorce. They will have worked out important matters, such as asset division, who has legal and physical custody of their children, alimony, child support and child visitation. There should be no significant obstacles that would possibly interfere with the divorce.

A no-fault divorce is an absolute divorce. It is permanent and will end a marriage. Couples who decide on seeking a no-fault divorce can’t change their minds later on. They will be allowed to remarry once the absolute divorce has been granted.

This type of divorce generally assumes that both partners are on friendly terms with one another. They are able to communicate regularly and work out their differences. If you are upset with your spouse or have a valid reason to ask for divorce, a no-fault divorce probably isn’t the best option.

How long do no-fault divorces take?

Most no-fault divorces are settled in a matter of just a few months. The length of time that it takes to receive an answer from the person who was served with divorce papers, availability of all involved parties, weather and other factors can contribute to the amount of time that is needed. The process may take less time if the complaint and answer are filed simultaneously.

What will I need for a no-fault divorce?

A separation agreement must be developed before you can file for a no-fault divorce. This document should clearly identify which party will receive alimony and child support. A child visitation schedule may also be attached.

The person filing for divorce will then make a Complaint for Absolute Divorce. The other party (also known as the defendant or respondent) must answer that complaint after they’ve been served with the divorce papers. If the respondent lives in the state of Maryland, they will have 30 days to reply. That deadline is extended to 60 days if they reside in another state and up to 90 days if they’re living in a different country.

The respondent should consent to the divorce request. They can also verify that they have a separation agreement already in place. After the answer has been received, the respective district court will then schedule a hearing for the no-fault uncontested divorce. Both parties are generally expected to attend the hearing if possible. Some no-fault divorce hearings are even held remotely.

All information and paperwork that is submitted will be reviewed closely by the judge. The marital separation agreement will be evaluated to ensure that everything is in order and so that neither spouse has an unfair advantage over the other in any way. It’s important to have everything in order, otherwise the divorce request could be rejected. You may want to have your attorney review the documentation to ensure that no important details have been overlooked or accidentally excluded.

If the divorce request is rejected, you don’t have to give up. You can still file for a limited divorce that can give you more time if you need to figure out asset division, alimony, child support or other matters. Limited divorces are temporary and may only last for a few weeks or months. You can also enter mediation to try to work out your differences if necessary.

Any kind of divorce can be very stressful. It’s never easy to end a marriage. Divorce doesn’t just affect the couple. It can also have life-long effects on their children, relatives, friendships and other personal and professional relationships. Longtime connections can be broken just as new friendships and other associations are formed.

If you have questions about filing for divorce, we can help. Contact us today to set up a free consultation that works around your busy schedule. Our trained professionals will listen to what you have to say, and provide valuable advice for possible next actions. We can even represent you in court if you wish.

Helping you get back on your feet again is our ultimate goal. This is going to take some time and effort. Whatever you get out of anything in life depends on what you put in. If you’re willing to endure the good and bad days, you may find yourself loving life again before too long. The days that you spent in a difficult marriage will soon be nothing but distant, faded memories.