While an average divorce in Maryland takes between 30 and 90 days from the time of filing, divorce is a long and complicated process, and there’s no set answer on how long it will take. The timeline for a legal divorce in Maryland depends on such factors as financial assets, child custody arrangements, and how willing your spouse is to comply with court requests and orders. Despite these factors, divorce is a well-worn legal path and an approximate timeline can be formed.
Step 1: Choosing to Divorce
Maryland is a state in which no-fault divorce is an optionand can be filed through either a mutual decision between you and your spouse, or after a year of voluntary separation.
Maryland has five grounds for fault-based divorce. These are:
- Cruel Treatment/Excessively Vicious Conduct
- Conviction of a Crime
If you see any of these behaviors present in your marriage, you should consider divorce. Staying in an unhealthy marriage is damaging for everyone involved.
Step 2: Hiring a Lawyer
Whether you are the one filing for a divorce or if you have been accused to be the offender in a fault-based divorce, you will want a good lawyer by your side helping to present you. Division of assets and court appearances require you to put you best foot forward and remain collected during one of the most emotional experiences of your life. No one can be expected to do that all on their own, and a lawyer can help you to get the most back from your marriage.
Step 3: Paperwork and Agreements
Once you have a lawyer, they will help you with the paperwork and negotiations on asset divisions and child custody arrangements. If things go smoothly and your spouse is compliant, these negotiations can go by very quickly. If there are disagreements, the process can be dragged out for months. A good lawyer can help get you what you deserve while minimizing the time spent negotiating.
Step 4: Your Divorce Hearing/Judgement of Divorce
The final step in your absolute divorce is your hearing and the judgement of divorce. For your hearing, you will need to have all your papers in order. What you will need includes:
- Your original (or certified copy) marriage license
- Complete, agreed upon child support guidelines
- A copy of any previous child support orders
- Your last 3 pay stubs and your last 2 tax returns
- Joint State of pArties Concerning Marital and Non-Marital Property
- Copy of any separation or marital settlement agreement
Your lawyer can help you collect everything you need and make sure everything is in order for the hearing to go smoothly.
Once your hearing is over, the Court or you will prepare a Judgement of Divorce form. Once all the paperwork is filed, your divorce will be officially recognized by the State of Maryland.
Divorce is a difficult and often unavoidable step in life, and here at Hershon Legal, we are proud to represent you. Contact us today and we can talk about how to best take back your life.