The Maryland 3StepDivorce™ Help Center
If you have questions about how it works, please call us toll free at 1-800-680-9052 Mon.- Fri. 9am to 5pm EST.
We provide unlimited support for all of our customers. We take great pride in being able to respond to our customers in a "human" to "human" approach (as you can see, we do not hide our toll free number 1-800-680-9052). We understand the need a customer may have to talk to a person rather than the typical automated voice or e-mail support system. Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and we do not give out legal advice. If you need legal advice we recommend that you contact a lawyer in your area.
FAQS About Maryland 3StepDivorce™
Can I file for my divorce in the State of Maryland?
In almost all cases, you file for a divorce in the state where you reside. This means that if you are a resident of Maryland, you file in Maryland and are governed by Maryland's divorce laws even if you were married, for example, in California.
You must meet Maryland's residency requirement for a Maryland court to have jurisdiction over your divorce.
Will Maryland 3StepDivorce™ work in my situation?
Maryland 3StepDivorce™ works in the following two situations:
1. both you and your spouse agree about everything, and both of you are willing to sign the divorce paperwork.
2. Your spouse is missing and you cannot locate him or her.
Does Maryland 3StepDivorce™ work if I have children?
It sure does. The Maryland 3StepDivorce™ allows you to address all issues regarding children, including but not limited to, physical and legal custody, visitation and support, care, health insurance and tax deductions.
Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in Maryland?
Thousands of people divorce in Maryland every year without hiring a lawyer.
When spouses cannot agree about the terms and conditions of their divorce, they sometimes end up in court where a judge makes decisions for them. This is called a contested divorce, and hiring a lawyer is a good idea in this case.
When a case is uncontested and both parties are willing to sign, (when you and you spouse agree about everything) filing your own divorce is a common choice in order to cut down legal expenses.
What are the residency requirements for a Maryland divorce?
The residency requirements for a divorce in Maryland are as follows:
If the grounds for divorce happened outside of Maryland, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least one year prior to foiling for divorce. If insanity is the grounds, the residency requirement is increased to two years. The divorce may be filed in the county where either spouse lives.
Must I prove that I am a resident of Maryland in order to file for my divorce?
Yes. The divorce paperwork requires a signed authentication that you have been a resident of Maryland for at least the past year.
This is a state law.
Signing false statements is perjury.
If the court requires proof for some reason, typically a Maryland driver's license or state identification is sufficient. An affidavit of a corroborating witness testifying about your residency also works.
What if my spouse does not live in Maryland?
Your spouse does not need to live in Maryland to use 3StepDivorce™. After you have printed all the divorce paperwork, you simply mail the documents to your spouse and he or she signs them. After your spouse returns them, you file in your local county court.
Very often divorcing spouses live in different states.
What are the grounds for filing a divorce in Maryland?
The grounds for divorce in Maryland are as follows:
No Fault: 1) the spouses have voluntarily lived separate and apart for one year without interruption and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation, and 2) the spouses have lived separate and apart for two years without interruption.
General: 1) adultery, 2) deliberate desertion for 12 months with no chance of reconciliation, 3) confinement for incurable insanity for at least three years, 4) conviction of felony or a misdemeanor with at least a three-year sentence and after one year of incarceration, 5) cruelty, with no chance for reconciliation, and 6) vicious conduct, with no chance of reconciliation.
How long does a divorce take in Maryland?
Once the divorce paperwork has been filed in court, it usually takes 30 to 90 days for a divorce to be final. The start to finish time of the divorce may vary depending on the caseload of the court and the availability of judges to sign the final Judgment of Absolute Divorce.
3StepDivorce™ saves time because all lengthy delivery times are eliminated when you print your documents from your computer. You control revisions and reprintings as necessary.
Do I have to appear in court?
In Maryland, a divorce hearing is not typically required unless you and your spouse have children. If there are children involved, a short hearing, generally about 15 minutes, gives the court an opportunity to make certain that you understand the parameters of custody, visitation and support that are ordered as part of your divorce.
If there are no children, the process in very streamlined. Since you and your spouse are in agreement, there is nothing for the court to decide.
After my divorce, how long do I have to wait in Maryland before I can remarry?
There is no mandatory waiting period in Maryland.
Does Maryland permit a name change as part of the divorce?
Yes. 3StepDivorce™ includes a protocol for the wife to take back her former or birth name as part of the filing. It is easier to effect a name change during the divorce rather than after the divorce is finalized.
Does Maryland 3StepDivorce™ address the division of our property and debt?
Separate and marital property and debt is identified and addressed in your 3StepDivorce™ account. A series of questions itemizes property and debt, dividing and allocating both according to what you and your spouse have agreed to. The answers become part of the divorce documents, so it is clear to you, your spouse and the court how assets and liabilities have been divided.
Will I be able to address our retirement accounts?
Yes. You answer a few questions dealing with individual retirement accounts. You have the option of waiving rights to each other's account(s), or dividing any marital portion of an account by a specific percentage or a dollar amount.
What about the marital home?
Once again, a few questions inside your account deal with the disposition of the marital home. All possible scenarios are covered -- sale, planned sale, transfer from one spouse to the other, and co-ownership.
Will I be able to address spousal support?
A few questions in your account deal with temporary or permanent spousal support. Rights to spousal support may be waived, or a couple can agree to a specific amount for a set period of time. These questions define and limit the parameters of the desired spousal support, which often terminates upon remarriage or cohabitation.
Does Maryland require child support?
Maryland requires that a support order be put in place for all minor children.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Maryland Child Support Guideline Worksheet, so you can easily calculate the state's recommendation for monthly support, but you have the option of taking these recommendations under advisement. The courts realize that you and your spouse know your situation better than they do, so they may approve any reasonable support amount, even if it is different from the one on the state worksheet.
How do I calculate how much child support I owe?
We provide Maryland Child Support Worksheets inside your account. These worksheets make it very easy to calculate a monthly support amount. The support calculation is based on a number of variables, but the primary one is income.
Once you have calculated the amount, you and your spouse decide if you want to deviate from it and the reasons for doing so.
Can I deviate from the Maryland child support guideline?
Yes. Once you and your spouse agree to a monthly child support amount, a judge reviews your decision. He or she will accept it if it seems reasonable. However, if it seems too high or too low, the judge will want an explanation why the two of you came to amount so much at variance from the state guidelines. Your explanation and reasons for it determine whether or not the judge accepts your proposed child support amount.
How do I know when I can deviate from the Maryland child support guidelines?
Maryland permits deviation from its child support guidelines, either up down, when "it [the guideline amount] is shown to be inappropriate and unjust under the circumstances. In determining whether the amount would be unjust, the court may consider: 1) the terms of any marital settlement agreement, including any provisions for payment of marital debts, mortgages, college education expenses, the right to occupy the family home, and any other financial terms; and 2) the presence in the household of either parent that the parent has a duty to support. The family home may be awarded to the parent who has custody of a child to enable the child to continue to live in the environment and community familiar to the child."
In Maryland, can child support be modified after the divorce?
Yes. Child support can be modified based on a change in circumstances. In Maryland, a change in circumstances means "a significant change in circumstances," generally, changes "not considered when the original judgment was entered" that are "permanent and substantial" and/or "affect one's current standard of living."
In Maryland, can child custody arrangements be modified after the divorce?
Yes. Child custody arrangements can be modified when, for example, they break down because of the conduct of one of the former spouses.
Can we customize our child custody arrangements?
Yes. The terms and conditions of both sole and joint/shared custody are defined by you and your spouse.
Can we specify our visitation/parenting time schedule?
Yes. You can either use a standard schedule that we provide in your account, or you can use our option to customize your own.
In Maryland, do any or all of the divorce documents need to be notarized?
Yes. Some of the divorce papers need to be notarized. The step-by-step filing instructions explain who signs what and whether a particular document needs to be notarized. The documents requiring notarization contain notary clauses below individual signature lines.
Do my spouse and I have to sign and/or notarize the documents at the same time and/or place?
No. If desired, each of you may sign and/or notarize a document at a different time and/or place.
As mentioned, very frequently spouses sign and notarize the documents at different times and places because they live apart in different states. This happens often, for example, when one of them has moved or is in the military.
In Maryland, where do I file?
In Maryland, the divorce papers are filed in the Circuit Court for _________________, which is the local county courthouse, where the Domestic Relations or Family Law department accepts the divorce filing. The divorce documents are submitted to the Clerk of the Courts. You pay a filing fee, and the clerk assigns the case a case number.
What is the filing fee in Maryland?
In Maryland, the fees vary by county. Roughly the fees are about $215 depending upon the county where you are filing. If you want to know the exact amount, you can call the courthouse and ask.
Filing fees underwrite the cost of the court system, but in the case of indigent petitioners these fees may be waived.
How can the fees be waived?
Normally, an indigent petitioner completes a very short form at the time of filing. This form asks the court to waive the fees because of financial hardship.
Can I stop a divorce in Maryland once I sign up?
Yes. If you have signed up but not filed any divorce papers, then nothing must be done. If you have initiated the action by filing the Complaint for Absolute Divorce, your case can be dismissed by petitioning the court to do so. Normally, this can only be done by the filing spouse and must be done in writing.
Often the clerk of the court can help a person remove a case from the court docket.
What documents do I receive with my Maryland 3StepDivorce™ account?
The Maryland 3StepDivorce™ includes the following documents:
- Maryland Filing Instructions
Copyright Notice: The above questions and answers regarding Maryland divorce is original material which is owned an copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This material has been adapted from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. Violation of this notice will result in immediate legal action.