When you decide it is time to end your marriage, and you have been a resident of Maryland for at least a year, you may be in a hurry to move on to the next chapter of your life. Although it can be tough to exert patience at such a challenging time, you should always proceed with the understanding that divorce proceedings can take longer than expected. Consequently, you will want to talk to your divorce lawyer at the very beginning of the process to get a clearer picture of the timeframes related to filing for divorce.
Factors that Shorten or Extend a Divorce
Every divorce has unique aspects that can shorten or lengthen the time it will take for you to be legally divorced. A good example is a divorce that has been uncontested. An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree that divorce is the best course of action. Because neither party wants to hold up the process, the divorce can proceed smoothly without any unnecessary problems. However, this does not always happen. Sometimes, an uncontested divorce can be held up if the parties cannot come to an agreement about child custody, division of property, or other matters. In that case, the uncontested divorce would be considered contested, even if both parties want to divorce.
Proving Grounds for Divorce in Maryland
Just because you want a divorce does not mean that it will immediately be awarded. You must first prove grounds for your divorce as per Maryland state law. One of the simplest grounds is that you have been living apart for at least a year. Other grounds for divorce in Maryland can include desertion of a spouse for a year, adultery, incarceration for at least a year with the expectation of serving no fewer than three years, cruelty, and abusive behavior. Insanity is also grounds for divorce, although it requires institutionalization for three years. The quickest ground for divorce is to have a fully executed marital separation agreement which resolves all issues. This is known as mutual consent.
What is the Final Divorce Timeframe?
All divorces have unique characteristics. An uncontested divorce without any hiccups can move through divorce proceedings within two to three months. A contested divorce can be finished in eighteen months, depending upon why the divorce is being contested. Ideally, divorcing parties should go into the experience not so much worried about how soon they will be divorced, but how well they manage their needs during proceedings. Consulting with a divorce lawyer can help you understand everything that is involved in the divorce process.