The Maryland legislature recently passed a significant change to the divorce statute, removing the requirement that the twelve-month separation by voluntary.  Previously, proving whether a separation was mutually voluntary could be difficult in some cases.  This change simplifies your case to get a divorce.  Now, in Maryland, you will need to prove one of the following grounds in order to get an absolute divorce:

  • Adultery;
  • Desertion (actual or constructive) for 12 months, deliberate and final and no hope of reconciliation;
  • Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor – if before filing for your divorce your spouse has been sentenced to serve at least 3 years and has served 12 months;
  • Separated for 1 Year – if you and your spouse have lived separate and apart without cohabitation without interruption before filing for your divorce;
  • Insanity – if your spouse has been confined to a mental institution for at least 3 years before filing for divorce, 2 doctors testify that the insanity is incurable and there is no hope of recovery, and you or your spouse has lived in Maryland for at least two (2) years;
  • Cruelty of Treatment toward you or at least one of your minor children and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation; or
  • Excessively Vicious Conduct toward you or at least one of your minor children and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

In addition, to get a divorce in Maryland, either you or your spouse must be a “bona fide” resident of Maryland when you file the complaint.  In addition, if the events and reasons for your divorce occurred outside of the state of Maryland, you or your spouse must have lived in Maryland for one year before filing for divorce.

However, before filing for divorce, there is much you can and should be doing to prepare.  Call an us to schedule a consultation on the steps you should be taking right now to protect yourself and your children.