Top 5 Maryland Divorce Laws

The top 5 things everyone should know about Maryland divorce laws.


If the grounds for divorce occurred outside of Maryland, Maryland divorce law is clear in that one of the spouses must have lived in Maryland for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. Otherwise, either spouse may file for divorce in Maryland. If the grounds for divorce is insanity, the residency requirement is increased to two years. The divorce may be filed for in a county where either spouse resides.

Maryland divorce law specifically declares that it is in the best interests of children that there be mediated resolutions of parental disputes regarding custody. A court may order an educational seminar if children are involved. In cases where the custody of a child is in dispute, the court may order the parents to attempt mediation, barring a history of physical or sexual abuse of the child.

Joint or sole custody may be awarded to either or both parents, based on the best interests of the child. Custody may be denied if the child has been abused by the parent seeking custody. There are no other factors for consideration set out in the statute. The court shall attempt to allow the child to live in the environment and community that is familiar to the child and will generally allow the use and possesĀ¬sion of the family home by the person with custody of the child(ren).

Marital property, including retirement benefits and military pensions, is then divided on an equitable basis. Maryland divorce laws state that the court may order a division of the property, a sale of the property and a division of the proceeds, or a money award as an adjustment of the values.

Child support may be awarded. There are specific child support guidelines and charts supplied in the statute. There is a presumption that the amount shown for support in the guidelines is correct, though the amount may be raised or lowered if it is shown to be inappropriate or unjust under the case circumstances

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