Our 3StepDivorceTM Online Divorce for Maryland is offered with a peace-of-mind 100% guarantee.
We offer a 100% guarantee that the documents provided will be accepted by the Maryland courts to finalize your divorce.
In the event that the documents provided are not accepted by the Maryland court due to the fault of 3StepDivorceTM, you will be provided a 100% refund (with no handling fee).
Our support staff will always give each individual customer personal attention should they have difficulty. We have both e-mail and phone support. This being said, prior to issuing a refund, we reserve the right to meet any courts requests regarding changes to the documents.
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) Mutual Consent (no minor children with signed Marital Settlement Agreement) or (2) 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)
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 Forms: Our question and answer technology will allow you to easily complete your Maryland 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
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A total of 92 people have started their divorce through 3StepDivorceTM in the last 24 hours and 918 in the last 10 days. The streamlined and user-friendly process, instant document delivery, and unlimited free support makes us the go-to solution to do your own divorce. Our simple and inexpensive process provides you with all your completed divorce papers in as little as 20 minutes. Instantly access your completed divorce forms after a short online interview. It is that easy, no lengthy completion or delivery times.
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.
With 3StepDivorce TM you cancomplete and print your Maryland divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your uncontested divorce in Maryland 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. If you're not ready to file for divorce Maryland, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Maryland and how to do your own divorce in Maryland . Also, If you have any questions try visiting our Maryland Divorce Online Help Center .
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Maryland.
Maryland 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Maryland 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
There are two different kinds of divorce under Maryland law:
There are two basic requirements to file for an absolute divorce in Maryland: a residency requirement, and a legally recognized reason for ending your marriage.
Generally, you may file for divorce in Maryland as long as either you or your spouse live in the state and consider it your permanent home. However, if the cause of your divorce (more on that below) happened outside of the state, one of you must have lived in Maryland for at least six months before you file for divorce. (Md. Code, Fam. Law § 7-101 (2022).)
You may file for an absolute divorce in Maryland based on either “no-fault” or “fault” grounds. When you file for a no-fault divorce, you don’t have to prove that your spouse was at fault for ending the marriage. Maryland has two no-fault grounds for divorce:
A fault divorce is based on a claim that your marriage is ending because your spouse engaged in a certain kind of misconduct, such as adultery, cruelty, or desertion. (Md. Code, Fam. Law § 7-103 (2022).)
Fault-based divorces are almost always more expensive and lengthy, because the spouse accused of misconduct is sure to fight the allegations. And of course, a no-fault divorce based on separation means waiting at least a year before you can start the divorce proceedings. So absolute divorce by mutual consent is the quickest and cheapest way to end your marriage in Maryland—as long as you and your spouse can work out a settlement agreement.
Many Maryland residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an absolute divorce by mutual consent.
If you aren’t able to reach a settlement agreement with your spouse (more on that below), you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
You may use Maryland 3StepDivorce™ if:
Along with the marital settlement agreement, you’ll need to submit a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet if you have minor children (more on that below). Maryland 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating your settlement agreement and completing the worksheet, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Maryland 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you and your spouse aren’t ready to file for absolute divorce—for instance, if you haven’t been able to reach a final marital settlement agreement required for divorce by mutual consent but haven’t been living apart for a year—and you want a separation agreement to make temporary arrangements for the support, custody of your children, who will stay in the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Maryland 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other paperwork for an absolute divorce by mutual consent.
Generally, you can use Maryland 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Maryland 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Maryland 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Maryland with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Md. Code, Fam. Law §§ 9.5-101, 9.5-201, 9.5-204 (2022).)
In Maryland, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Maryland has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Maryland Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement. If the amount of child support deviates from the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “unjust or inappropriate” under the circumstances.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
After your divorce in Maryland is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that there has been a “material” change in circumstances—either parent’s ability to pay support or the child’s needs. The judge will review your request based on the same legal requirements for an original child support order.If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. But you should submit your agreement for a judge’s review so that it will be made part of a court order (and therefore enforceable like any other court order).
If your circumstances have changed (or if it’s been three years since your divorce or most recent child support order), you may request a review from the Child Support Administration of the Maryland Department of Human Services by calling their Customer Care Center at 1-800-332-6347.
When you fill out your questionnaire for Maryland 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
In your Maryland 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Maryland divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
When you get your completed forms with Maryland 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to take the paperwork for filing to the circuit court clerk’s office in the county where you live, or where your spouse lives, works, or runs a business. (Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 6-201, 6-202 (2022).) Call or check on the court clerk’s website to see if you can file your forms electronically.
The fee to file for an absolute divorce is $165, under the circuit court fee schedule that was effective September 2021.
If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, you may ask the court to waive the fees by filing a Request for Waiver of Prepaid Costs.
Maryland doesn’t have a mandatory waiting period before you can finalize an absolute divorce by mutual consent. Once you’ve filed your paperwork, you need to build in time to serve your spouse with the divorce papers, for your spouse to file an answer, and for the court to schedule a hearing. Depending on how busy the court is, all of that can take one to four months.
Maryland 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Maryland Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Maryland law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.
3StepDivorce TM is a premium online divorce solution, a sister company of Divorce Source, the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web's largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.
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