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Baltimore Divorce Checklist

If you are planning on filing for a Baltimore divorce, you will want to plan in advance to make sure the process goes smoothly.

Divorces require preparation. This article will explain what you need to consider before filing for a Baltimore divorce. In addition, if you need additional assistance or information specific to your case, you can contact a Baltimore divorce attorney to assist you.

Types of Baltimore Divorce

Before understanding what is required to file for divorce in Baltimore, you need to understand the types of divorce available in Maryland.

Under Maryland divorce law, there are two types of divorce in the state: Limited and absolute.

A limited divorce does not technically end the marriage. Instead, it legally separates the two parties and establishes certain legal responsibilities.

Absolute divorce is permanent. It completely terminates the marriage as well as property claims.

Couples do not have to get a limited divorce prior to filing for an absolute divorce.

Preliminary Baltimore Divorce Requirements

Before you even consider filing for a Baltimore divorce, you should take care of a few potential preliminary hurdles.

One of these hurdles is residency requirements. To file for divorce in Baltimore if the grounds (or reason) for divorce occurred outside of the state, you or your spouse must have been a Maryland resident for one year prior to filing the forms. If the grounds occurred within Maryland, you or your spouse must be a current resident of Maryland. If you are filing for divorce under the grounds of insanity, then either you or your spouse must have been a Maryland resident for two years.

Another thing to consider is divorce grounds. You have to provide sufficient reason for your divorce. The grounds requirements are different for limited and absolute divorces.

For a limited divorce, you can cite:

  • Cruelty of treatment
  • Excessively vicious conduct
  • Desertion
  • Voluntary separation

For an absolute divorce, you can cite:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion for one year prior to filing for divorce
  • Voluntary separation for one year prior to filing for divorce
  • Two-year involuntary separation
  • The spouse was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and has been sentenced to at least three years in prison and has already served one year
  • Insanity if the spouse has been confined to a mental institution for at least three years prior to filing for divorce
  • Cruelty of treatment
  • Excessively vicious conduct

Preparing for Your Baltimore Divorce

The following checklist will help you understand the steps you need to take to file for a divorce in Baltimore:

  • Research divorce lawyers in Baltimore. You can ask friends and family for recommendations, or you can use a site like Whether you are filing for divorce in Arcadia, Park Heights, Upton or another area of Baltimore, can put you in touch with at least one local attorney.
  • Set up an initial consultation with the Baltimore divorce attorney. This preliminary meeting allows you to get to know the lawyer, tell him about your case and decide whether to hire him.
  • Gather documents related to your case, and prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney. Important documents include financial statements and evidence of property ownership.
  • Go on your initial consultation. Make sure to bring a pen and paper to take notes with.
  • Pick a lawyer to hire to represent you in your divorce.
  • Close your joint bank accounts and credit cards that you share with your spouse, and get your own.
  • Make important decisions regarding your dependents, and revise your will accordingly.
  • Purchase your own health insurance if you need to.
  • Have your lawyer help you prepare the complaint for divorce to initiate the divorce process.
  • File the complaint with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.