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Divorce in Maryland

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Maryland may be nicknamed “The Free State” but not when trying to end a legal marriage. Maryland has two types of divorce; absolute divorce and limited divorce. Limited divorce does not legally end the marriage.

You can file for divorce in Maryland if either you or your spouse is a Maryland resident.1 if the reason for your divorce happened outside Maryland, either party must have lived in Maryland for at least six months before filing the divorce petition.2

Maryland is both a no-fault divorce state with fault-based grounds for divorce. To get a no-fault absolute divorce in Maryland, the couple must have been living apart continuously for at least one year. Maryland divorce laws accept fault-based reasons for divorce including adultery, insanity, cruelty, desertion, excessively vicious conduct, and conviction of certain crimes.3

Maryland is an equitable distribution property state, and only property acquired during the marriage is subject to division following divorce. The courts will attempt to divide marital property in Maryland fairly and equitably. The judge will consider non-monetary contributions during the property division case.4

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1MD Code Courts & Jud. Proc. § 6–202

2MD Code, Fam. Law § 7-101

3MD Code, Fam. Law § 7-103(a)

4MD Code, Fam. Law § 8-205

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