Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Maryland Divorce Laws

It's a sad fact that a number of marriages don't work out. Just like states have legal requirements for marriage, states also have legal requirements for divorce, State law defines the process married couples must go through to legally end their marriage.

Maryland has a residency requirement that has to be met before filing for divorce, but there's no waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. The standard grounds for divorce include adultery, desertion, cruelty, incurable insanity, and other reasons listed below. Maryland also recognizes no-fault divorce.

Maryland Divorce Laws at a Glance

The requirements to get divorced can vary from state to state. Maryland's divorce laws are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

Fam. Law § 7-101 et seq. of the Maryland Code

Residency Requirements

At least one spouse must be a resident of Maryland. If the ground for divorce happened in Maryland, you need only be a resident at the time you file for divorce. If the ground for divorce happened outside of Maryland, one spouse must live in Maryland for at least six months

Waiting Period

Upon meeting requirements, absolute divorce granted

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Separation (2 yrs. involuntarily or 12 months voluntarily); "limited divorce," often referred to as legal separation, is permitted for cruelty, vicious conduct; separation; desertion

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

Recrimination or condonation is a factor but not an absolute bar

Other Grounds for Divorce

Adultery; desertion for 12 mos. without interruption; insanity (confined for 3 yrs.); conviction of a crime (sentenced for at least 3 yrs. and served at least 12 months); cruelty, excessively vicious conduct; voluntary separation grounds for limited divorce

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

No-Fault Divorce Laws

Like all states, Maryland allows for “no-fault" divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you do not have to allege or prove any specific wrongdoing in order to get a divorce. Under Maryland law, to get a no-fault divorce you must demonstrate that you and your spouse have been separated involuntarily for two years or voluntarily for 12 months.

Maryland law also provides alternatives to the standard divorce known as annulment and legal separation, which have separate requirements and only apply to certain circumstances. If you and your soon-to-be-ex have any children together, you should also be aware of Maryland child custody laws, as well as state statutes pertaining to child support guidelines.

Get a Review of Your Maryland Divorce Case

The divorce process can be emotionally and legally tumultuous, even in the best-case scenarios. Since divorce often involves child custody and other intangibles, it makes sense to protect your interests by hiring an attorney.

Get started today by having a Maryland divorce attorney evaluate your case.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options