Maryland Divorce Laws

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A divorce is always a disturbing phenomenon in an individual's life. Though it is the personal affair of the spouses, it is to be handled legally as the divorce procedures come under state jurisdiction. Therefore, the state of Maryland has incorporated some common laws about divorce that are mentioned in the form of various statues. These divorce laws in Maryland talk about the nature of a divorce case and other issues related to important matters like property and children. When a person is applying for divorce, he or she must have a brief knowledge about divorce laws to make a legally appropriate dissolution.

Grounds for divorce in Maryland

The grounds for divorce on the basis of which a divorce case can be filed, range from adultery or cheating on the partner to mental imbalance or physical violence. Maryland divorce laws provides the list of such lawful grounds. A partner asking for a divorce, has to present enough evidence in the court to prove the fault of the partner.

Maryland Divorce Laws regarding Spousal Support

Spousal support is also called as alimony. The spousal support is a way to help a divorce partner to re-establish the financial stability that he or she has enjoyed during marriage. The spousal support is paid by the economically affluent partner in common cases. If not solved by the partners, the matter of spousal support is governed by the court. The Family Law, Sections 11-101 and 11-106 are used in solving the issue of spousal support. In this state, the Court contemplates over the following issues before finalizing on this award -

  • The economical resources and economical needs of both partners
  • Presence of any agreement amongst the partners
  • The capability of the partner from whom spousal support is requested to complete the self needs after paying the support
  • The mental and physical state and age of each partner
  • The factors that caused the rift between the partners
  • The economical and other inputs of each partner towards the maintenance of the family
  • The period of marital life
  • The standard of living enjoyed in marital life
  • The period essential for the parties to obtain enough education and training to have the proper employment
  • The capacity of the partner requesting spousal support to be completely self supporting
  • The grant of the award would result in the partner to be eligible for medical assistance earlier than the normal time

Maryland Divorce Laws regarding Property Distribution

When the divorcing partners fail to reach any sort of agreement regarding property distribution, then the marital estate is separated by the Court in equitable and not essentially in an equal manner. Family Law 8-205 is observed while determining distribution of property. The factors taken into account while making the decision are as follows -

  • The value of spousal support that has been awarded
  • The manner in which the marital property was attained
  • The mental state, physical condition and age of both the partners
  • The period of marital life
  • The misconduct due to which the parties got separated
  • The financial conditions of each partner
  • The valuation of the gross property of both partners
  • The non-monetary and monetary inputs of both partners to the marital estate
  • Any other issues which the Court thinks are relevant

Child Custody

The Family Law Sections 9-103, 9-101 and 5-203 are followed while deciding child custody. The Court can grant joint custody to both parents or custody to either parent. In case the Court has enough reasons to conclude that the parent has neglected or abused the child in the past and this behavior may continue, then this parent is denied visitation or custody rights. However, a supervised visitation arrangement is possible which ensures the safety of the child and the emotional, psychological and physiological welfare of the child. A child who has completed 16 years of age or is older than 16 years can file a petition for alteration of custody.

Change in name

The issue of change in name is decided as per family law 7-105. Both the partners can make a request to restore their maiden name or former name after the divorce.

Residency Requirements

Residency requirement is the essential condition that is to be fulfilled by a person who wish to apply for a divorce in a particular state. Every state has its own rules for residency. The state of Maryland puts the condition of stay for a period of one year when the cause for divorce has been occurred outside the state. The spouse can fulfill such requirement by ensuring the physical presence for the mentioned period in the court.

So, the Maryland divorce laws are helpful to a large extent for the spouses who are undergoing through a process of divorce in this state.

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