How long does it take to get divorce in maryland


Obtaining a divorce in Maryland involves navigating legal procedures and requirements. Understanding the timeline, legal complexities, and available resources is essential to ensuring a smooth process. This comprehensive guide provides insights into how long it takes to get a divorce in Maryland and offers expert advice on managing the journey.

Step 1: Residency Requirements

At least one spouse must be a resident of Maryland for a minimum of six months before filing for divorce.

Step 2: Grounds for Divorce

Maryland offers both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. No-fault grounds include a 12-month separation without cohabitation.

Step 3: Filing the Complaint

The divorce process begins by filing a Complaint for Absolute Divorce in the circuit court of the county where either spouse resides.

Step 4: Serving the Complaint

The non-filing spouse must be served with the divorce complaint and a summons, providing legal notice of the proceedings.

Step 5: Waiting Period

Maryland law imposes a waiting period of 12 months from the date of separation before a no-fault divorce can be finalized.

Step 6: Property Division and Alimony

The division of marital property and determination of alimony may be resolved through negotiation, mediation, or court proceedings.

Step 7: Child Custody and Support

For couples with minor children, child custody and support arrangements must be established, prioritizing the child’s best interests.

Step 8: Finalizing the Divorce

Once all issues are addressed, the court will issue a Judgment of Absolute Divorce, finalizing the divorce.

Factors Influencing the Timeline

Several factors can impact the time it takes to get a divorce in Maryland:

  • Type of Divorce: Uncontested divorces tend to be faster than contested ones.
  • Complexity of Issues: Complicated matters like property division or custody can extend the timeline.
  • Court Schedule: Court availability and caseload can affect the process.

Useful Resources Links

For additional assistance with the divorce process in Maryland, consider the following resources:

  1. Maryland Courts Self-Help Centers
  2. Maryland State Bar Association – Family Law
  3. Maryland Department of Human Services – Child Support


How long does it take to get a divorce in Maryland?

The minimum waiting period for a no-fault divorce is 12 months from the date of separation. However, the overall timeline can vary based on the specific circumstances of the case.

Can I expedite the waiting period?

The 12-month waiting period is mandatory for no-fault divorces and cannot be shortened.

Is mediation recommended for divorce in Maryland?

Yes, mediation can help resolve issues amicably and potentially expedite the process.

Can I modify the divorce decree later?

Certain aspects, such as child custody and support, can be modified if circumstances change.

Can I file for divorce without an attorney?

While you can file without an attorney, legal advice is recommended, especially for complex cases.

Can I get a divorce if my spouse contests it?

Yes, you can still get a divorce if your spouse contests it, but it may take longer.


Navigating the divorce process in Maryland requires a clear understanding of legal requirements and potential challenges. By utilizing available resources and seeking expert advice when necessary, you can ensure a smoother journey through the complexities of divorce.

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