Legal Professional?
Build Your Business

Maryland Divorce



To begin a divorce proceeding in Maryland, either you or your spouse must have lived in Maryland for at least one year before filing for divorce if you claim the grounds--or reason--for your divorce occurred outside of the state. If the reason for your divorce occurred within Maryland, the state requires that one of you be a Maryland resident. If the grounds for divorce is insanity, one of you must have lived in the state for two years.

You will file for divorce in the appropriate Maryland Circuit Court.

Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

Maryland allows for both a limited divorce, which is similar to a legal separation, and an absolute divorce. Grounds for a fault-based divorce in Maryland include:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Voluntary separation
  • Felony or misdemeanor criminal conviction
  • Two year separation
  • Insanity

Your Maryland divorce attorney can help ensure you meet the legal requirements to file for a divorce in Maryland and assist you with filing the necessary paperwork.

Maryland Property Division & Spousal Maintenance

In Maryland, all property not classified as "separate" is considered "marital property" and will be divided "equitably" (but not necessarily equally). Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage and property obtained during the marriage via gift or inheritance to strictly one spouse.

Under certain conditions, the court will order alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance) to be paid from one spouse to the other.The length and amount of support awarded depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial situation and earning capacity.

Your Maryland divorce lawyer can help negotiate a fair division of property and alimony agreement, if necessary.

Maryland Child Custody & Child Support

Maryland law requires that the court make custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. Maryland courts will consider joint custody if it is in the best interests of the child. Generally, a parent not awarded custody is granted visitation rights.

In Maryland, child support is calculated based on:

  • The number of children
  • Whether custody is shared or if one parent has primary custody
  • Each parent's income
  • Whether either parent is paying child support for other children
  • Whether alimony is being paid or received by either parent
  • The cost of expenses for each child, including health insurance, medical, school and transportation expenses

After the court has ruled on child support, the paying parent can make online payments through ExpertPay.com. The child support is then paid to the other parent.

Additional Maryland Divorce Resources

Lawyers.com Maryland divorce, alimony, child custody & support information

Maryland family law forms

Maryland Department of Family Administration