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Maryland Divorce Laws

Maryland Residency Requirements
There is a 1 year requirement if the grounds for the divorce occurred outside the state of Maryland, otherwise if either spouse is a resident of the state of Maryland, he or she may file in the county in which either spouse resides. If you are filing for divorce under the grounds of insanity, the residency requirement is increased to 2 years. The divorce is typically filed with in county in which the filing spouse lives. (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 7-103)
Maryland Divorce Grounds:
(1) voluntary separation, if: (i) the parties voluntarily have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce; and (ii) there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation; (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 7-103)
Maryland Property and Debt Division
The court shall determine the amount and the method of payment of a monetary award, or the terms of the transfer of the interest in property after considering each of the following factors: (A) the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family; (B) the value of all property interests of each party; (C) the economic circumstances of each party at the time the award is to be made; (D) the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties; (E) the duration of the marriage; (F) the age of each party; (G) the physical and mental condition of each party; (H) how and when specific marital property or interest in property described was acquired, including the effort expended by each party in accumulating the marital property or the interest in property described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, or both; (I) the contribution by either party of property to the acquisition of real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety; (J) any award of alimony and any award or other provision that the court has made with respect to family use personal property or the family home; and (K) any other factor that the court considers necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award or transfer of an interest in property or both. (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 8-202, 8-203, 8-205)
Maryland Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony:
The court shall determine the amount of and the period for an award of alimony. The court may award alimony for a period beginning from the filing of the pleading that requests alimony. At the conclusion of the period of the award of alimony, no further alimony shall accrue. In making the determination, the court shall consider all the factors necessary for a fair and equitable award, including: (A) the ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting; (B) the time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment; (C) the standard of living that the parties established during their marriage; (D) the duration of the marriage; (E) the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family; (F) the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties; (G) the age of each party; (H) the physical and mental condition of each party; (I) the ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party's needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony; (J) any agreement between the parties; (K) the financial needs and financial resources of each party, including: (L) whether the award would cause a spouse who is a resident of a related institution and from whom alimony is sought to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur. The court may award alimony for an indefinite period, if the court finds that: (A) due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability, the party seeking alimony cannot reasonably be expected to make substantial progress toward becoming self-supporting; or (B) even after the party seeking alimony will have made as much progress toward becoming self-supporting as can reasonably be expected, the respective standards of living of the parties will be unconscionably disparate. (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 11-106)
Maryland Custody and Visitation:
Custody, whether joint or sole, will be awarded to either the mother or the father or both with the best interest of the children in mind. There are no specific factors stated which would be automatically considered by the court, but the typical factors are, but not limited to; age, health, parents contributing roles, child's wishes etc.. When the court grants an annulment or a limited or absolute divorce, regardless of how the family home or family use personal property is titled, owned, or leased, the court may: (i) decide that 1 of the parties shall have the sole possession and use of that property; or (ii) divide the possession and use of the property between the parties. In awarding the possession and use of the family home and family use personal property, the court shall consider each of the following factors: 1) the best interests of any child; (2) the interest of each party in continuing: (i) to use the family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it as a dwelling place; or (ii) to use the family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it for the production of income; and (3) any hardship imposed on the party whose interest in the family home or family use personal property is infringed on by an order issued under 8-207 through 8-213 of this subtitle. The court may order or decree that either or both of the parties pay all or any part of: (1) any mortgage payments or rent; (2) any indebtedness that is related to the property; (3) the cost of maintenance, insurance, assessments, and taxes; or (4) any similar expenses in connection with the property. An order giving a party the sole possession and use of the family home under subsection (a) of this section does not affect the right of the other party to claim the family home as that party's principal residence for tax purposes. (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 5-203, 8-207, 8-208, 9-101)
Maryland Child Support:
In determining whether the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the court may consider: 1. the terms of any existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order, including any provisions for payment of mortgages or marital debts, payment of college education expenses, the terms of any use and possession order or right to occupy to the family home under an agreement, any direct payments made for the benefit of the children required by agreement or order, or any other financial considerations set out in an existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order; and 2. the presence in the household of either parent of other children to whom that parent owes a duty of support and the expenses for whom that parent is directly contributing. (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 8-206, 12-101, 12-201, 12-202, 12-203)

Maryland Common Questions

How Do I Know if I Should File in Maryland?
One would typically file for divorce in the state in which he or she or his or her spouse resides. If you have recently moved to a new state and wish to file in that new state, you may have to establish residency prior to filing.

If you are in the military and are stationed on a base outside your residency state, you typically are able to file in that state or in your residency state.

If you are in the military and are stationed overseas, you would typically file in your home residency state.

Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Have Children?
Yes. The system and your documents will address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.
Can I Use 3StepDivorceTM if I Cannot Locate My Spouse?
Yes. The system for Maryland will provide the required paperwork and the filing procedure for divorcing your missing spouse. This is referred to as a "divorce by publication".
How Much Are the Maryland Filing and/or Court Fees?
The filing and/or court fees are not included in our fee and typically range from $50.00 to $350.00 in total depending on your location of filing and whether or not you have children. The 3StepDivorce service will typically help you yield the lowest filing fee for you because both you and your spouse are in agreement.
How Long Will the Process Take in Maryland?
The process takes an average of less than 1 hour to answer the required questions and generate the documents. Once you file your documents with the court according the filing procedures, the length of time will vary depending on the number of cases in front of yours. Each court has only one or just a few Judges, Masters, or Referees to review all the pending cases.
Should I File or Should My Spouse File?
As a rule of thumb, for uncontested divorces, the spouse who really wants the divorce to be finalized typically does the filing.
Where and How Do I File My Documents?
The documents are filed at your local county courthouse in the family law or domestic relations division or department. Inside your account you will receive step-by-step filing procedures.
Can I Mail or Fax My Documents to the Clerk?
Many courts do permit you to mail and/or fax the documents. This will vary from county to county and state to state, so it will be best to check with the clerk at the courthouse when you are ready to file.
Do I Have to Go to Court in Maryland?
Depending on your state and your situation, you may or may not have to attend a short hearing. Most of the time when a hearing is required, it only lasts 10-15 minutes and only the filing spouse must attend. The hearing is where you will be granted your divorce and the judge will sign the final judgment or decree.
Do I Have to Also Hire a Lawyer?
3StepDivorce is designed for you to do your own uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer. You will be acting as your own lawyer and filing for your own divorce. Should you need or desire legal advice or should your divorce become contested, we do suggest you hire the services of a lawyer.
Will My Name Also Be Changed?
The wife has the option to change her name back to her former or maiden name through the 3StepDivorce solution.
When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in Maryland?
The divorce is typically finalized when the Judge signs the final judgment or decree. We give a window of 30-90 days from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse and any mandatory waiting periods.

Maryland Divorce Forms

This is a partial list of the Maryland divorce forms you will receive with your Maryland 3StepDivorceTM Premium Online Divorce account. Each state has unique forms and requirements for filing for a divorce, which is why we provide Maryland specific forms and filing procedures.

Maryland Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Alaska divorce forms for an uncontested divorce. Our goal is to give you full control and make "doing your own divorce", fast, easy, and affordable.

Maryland Divorce Forms List
  • Maryland Filing Procedures
  • Civil - Domestic Case Information Report
  • Complaint for Absolute Divorce (dom rel 20)
  • Certificate of Service (for Complaint) (dom rel 58)
  • Affidavit of Service (for Complaint) (dom rel 56)
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Schedule for Visitation/Parenting Time of Minor Children
  • Joint Statement of Parties Concerning Marital and Non-Marital Property
  • Child Support Worksheet (Sole Custody) (dom rel 34)
  • Child Support Worksheet (Shared Custody) (dom rel 35)
  • Child Support Schedule
  • Declaration Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act
  • Financial Statement (Plaintiff) (dom rel 31)
  • Financial Statement (Defendant) (dom rel 31)
  • Answer to Complaint (dom rel 50)
  • Request for Hearing (dom rel 59)
  • Judgment of Absolute Divorce
A Simple Divorce Process
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Step 2 Answer the questions at your own pace.
Step 3 Print, sign and file your divorce forms with your local court

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This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)" solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that will be filed in the State of Maryland. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court. It even works if you cannot locate your spouse.

With 3StepDivorceTM you will complete and instantly print your divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement), and step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy.


3StepDivorceTM is a premium online divorce solution provided by Divorce Source, Inc., the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited divorce resource since 1997.


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Provided by Divorce Source (online since 1997) Over 500,000 forms processed. Have your completed documents within 1 hour (with or without children) Instantly print your documents (free delivery by US Priority Mail is also available). Instantly make changes (gives you full control, the way it should be!) All required divorce documents ready for signing.
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“ I thought the service was very thorough. All in all I was prepared very well for the vast majority of what was encountered during my divorce. In the end, I saved a great deal of money by performing the work myself. I was very pleased with the service and would recommend it to others. ”
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“ My experience with Premium Divorce Services was excellent. Not only did I get all the forms I needed but they came with detailed instructions. Everything fell right into place and the process went well. The Judge even commented on how neat things were. After going into court, I was in front of the Judge a maximum of four minutes! Wow, I was surprised even after preparing for whatever questions he might have. Thanks again for such a nice, complete and reasonably priced divorce. I would recommend this to anyone. ”
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Disclaimer: This is a quality non-lawyer self-help divorce solution. The 3StepDivorceTM Documentation software and service is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. Divorce Source, Inc. does not practice law and does not give out legal advice. This software and service allows you to represent yourself in doing your own divorce. If you need or desire legal representation, we recommend that you hire a lawyer. Click here to learn more.
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