Rockville Divorce Lawyer
Experienced Divorce Attorneys Serving Montgomery County, MD
Major changes to the laws involving divorce went into effect on October 1, 2023 in Maryland. Generally, fault-based grounds for absolute divorce (such as adultery, cruelty of treatment and abandonment) no longer exist, nor do limited divorces.
Post October 1, 2023, the only grounds for divorce that exist in Maryland are (1) irreconcilable differences, (2) a six (6) month separation, and (3) mutual consent.
While Maryland has always recognized grounds based on a separation, most recently, a one year separation was required prior to filing an action for divorce. Additionally, the parties were required to live “separate and apart,” which meant in different households and without a resumption of their marital relationship. With the change reform in October of 2023, the legislature has also specifically specified that the parties may reside in the same household during their time of separation. This is a major change to the status of the law in Maryland. When this legal reform, it is now much easier for most parties to initiate their filing for divorce.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney
Our family law attorneys are experienced in complex, high asset divorce cases and can assist you in your effort to protect your financial security. If you are pursuing a divorce and have minor children, you will also need to resolve, either by settlement or a trial, the legal and physical custody of the children. Our family law attorneys are experienced with high conflict custody litigation; we serve as court-appointed Best Interest Attorneys and have represented third parties in cases where extreme circumstances exist to enable a third party intervention.
Our attorneys can help you can help you navigate the complex process of divorce. Litigation is not your only option. Your situation may be one where a negotiated settlement would be preferable to litigation. We can help you determine which is the best course of action for your specific situation and your family.
Divorce in Maryland is not easy. Call (301) 658-2494 or contact us online for a consultation to learn how we can assist you and to schedule a virtual or in-person consultation. Our lawyers are based in Rockville and practice throughout Maryland. Se habla Español.
Contested & Uncontested Divorce in Maryland
In Maryland, if you and your spouse reach an agreement about spousal support, division of marital assets, and if you have minor children, custody of your children, you may file for an Uncontested Divorce on the grounds of mutual consent, if that agreement is in writing.
If you and your spouse disagree about the grounds for divorce (irreconcilable differences or six months of separation has elapsed) and/or you’re unable to resolve all issues involving spousal support, division of marital assets, and if you have minor children, custody of your children, you may initiate a filing for divorce, which will be considered a Contested Divorce since there are unresolved issues to try before the court.
Many times parties commence the divorce process with a filing for a contested divorce, because there are issues that remain unresolved, however, through alternative dispute resolution efforts, such as mediation or settlement negotiations, parties may able to reach an agreement. If so, the contested divorce becomes an uncontested divorce based on grounds of mutual consent.
The process can be complicated. We educate our clients regarding all options relevant to their situation, so our clients can make informed and educated decisions about their children, their finances, and their future.
Persuasive Negotiators & Aggressive Litigators in Maryland
If parties are unable or unwilling to reach a settlement, the issues involving grounds for separation, marital property, spousal support, child custody, and child support will be tried before the court.
Our attorneys are experienced litigators who will work with you to ensure you are prepared to argue your best case in trial.
Maryland Grounds for Divorce
As of October 1, 2023, Maryland has three grounds upon which you can file for an absolute divorce: (1) irreconcilable differences, (2) a six (6) month separation, and (3) mutual consent.
Limited divorce has been abolished, as have fault based grounds for absolute divorce, including adultery, desertion and cruelty of treatment.
What is an Absolute Divorce?
An absolute divorce is the legal judgment that permanently dissolves your marriage.
How to Initiate a Divorce Papers in Maryland
A party wishing to initiate an action for divorce must file a Complaint for Divorce, which must include the grounds on which the party is proceeding to divorce, as well as information as to the issues that need to be resolved, including spousal support, division of property division, child custody, and child support.
What to Expect in the Maryland Divorce Process
There are many potential issues to address in divorce, including whether it is possible to reach a negotiated settlement agreement prior to filing.
Once a party has filed, generally, the following relief is available:
- Temporary relief:
- This is also called "pendente lite relief." This relief includes determining visitation, child support, spousal support.
- Permanent relief.
- Includes child custody, child support, marital property division, spousal support, marital awards, and retirement benefits.
Contact us online or call (301) 658-2494 to learn how we can assist you and to schedule a virtual or in-person consultation. Our lawyers are based in Rockville and practice throughout Maryland. Se habla Español.