Filing for divorce in Maryland is not a simple and quick process unless there are no dependent children involved and both spouses are agreeable to the split. Marriage in the view of the state is effectively the same as a business contract, but it also carries the authority to have children legitimately under the acceptance of the state. States effectively control marital relationships just like any other formal and legitimate business partnership, basically for tax purposes. The divorce returns the spouses to individual status from a single legal unit. And just as with any other business dissolution, there are administrative steps involved in the process.
Temporary separation petition filing
The first step in a divorce is the court order establishing a temporary separation as a single legal entity. Maryland is actually one of the states that allows continuing legal separation as an option to a permanent split. This is determined by the type of initial divorce petition.
The next step will be the marital property inventory hearing. All property owned by the couple will be evaluated for private or marital ownership. Maryland is an equitable distribution state, so marital assets and liabilities are not divided along a 50-50 guideline. Any particular item could be assessed as private property, and there are certain absolute exemptions.
Property division mediation
Almost all divorce cases will include a mediation process involving division of property and child support obligations. There are distinct laws that pertain to child support, and the state will impose requirements if an agreement is not reached in mediation.
Following the mediation process, the spouses will then appear before a Maryland judge for a final divorce decree. Unlike many other states, a divorce is final effective immediately upon a signature from the court judge.