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How does the divorce process work in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Divorce |

When a marriage begins to fail, one or both spouses might consider a divorce. This often involves going through a deliberate process in a Maryland family court. Some may only possess a general idea about what is involved, and it might be beneficial to learn about the steps required. For some, a divorce could be long and complicated, requiring a court battle. Others might find the process moves quickly and they reach an agreeable settlement.

Exploring the divorce process

The first step in the process involves filing the divorce petition paperwork. Spouses should be aware that they must meet residency requirements on both the state and county level. Even when both spouses agree to the divorce and its terms, the process takes time. Many divorces do not receive a final decree until several months after filing the petition.

Since the couple might cease living together during the divorce process, they may ask the court for a temporary order before everything finalizes. Often, a spouse may suffer financial hardships when a partner leaves the household. So, a request for temporary spousal or child support may be necessary. Any support ordered by the court might alleviate some burdens.

Further steps in the divorce process

Serving a spouse with divorce papers does more than putting them on notice. Taking these steps allows the court to handle the case. Without proof of service, the case cannot go forward.

Settlement negotiations allow the partners to address the divorce terms, including asset distribution, child custody, spousal maintenance, and child support. Negotiations might become contentious, but mediation could provide a solution. If negotiations reach an impasse, going to trial might be unavoidable. Whether settling or going to trial, the divorce won’t be final until a judge issues a decree.