How Fast Can I Get a Divorce in Maryland?
The legal team at the Law Office of Laurie M. Wasserman understands that, in many cases, you and your spouse would like to be divorced as soon as possible. In fact, one of the most common questions we receive during our initial consultation is, “How fast can I get a divorce?” The answer depends on your relationship with your spouse and how you are going to file for divorce—in other words, is your divorce fault-based or no fault-based?
Fault-Based vs. No Fault-Based Divorce
In simple terms, a fault-based divorce means that you and your spouse cannot agree upon the resolutions for your marriage or possibly even getting divorced in the first place. Fault-based divorces are typically argued in court and can take a year to 18 months to get a divorce trial before a Judge.
On the other hand, a no fault-based divorce can expedite the process. One of the fastest ways to get a no fault-based divorce in the state of Maryland is a Mutual Consent Divorce because there is no separation period required to finalize the divorce. The caveat is that a Mutual Consent Divorce arguably requires the most resolutions between you and your spouse right off the bat. Under a Mutual Consent Divorce, you and your spouse must agree upon all resolutions of issues in the marriage, before filing.
How do I get a Mutual Consent Divorce?
Before you can even file for a Mutual Consent Divorce, you and your spouse must have a written Separation Agreement that resolves all of the issues in the marriage. The agreement must address alimony, distribution of property, and the care, custody, access, and support of minor children. Once the agreement is finalized, one spouse will then file a “Complaint for Absolute Divorce” on the grounds of Mutual Consent. Then, the other spouse must file an “Answer” affirming that they have an agreement and consent to the divorce. In some cases, the spouses can work together to file both the Complaint and Answer at the same time and schedule the hearing even sooner. After the Answer has been received, the Court will schedule an uncontested divorce hearing. In most counties, only the moving party needs to appear in court for this type of divorce. Currently, these hearings are being done remotely.
Please note that a Mutual Consent Divorce is very specific and if the court finds that your Agreement does not satisfy the requirements under the law, it has the authority to not grant you a divorce. For this reason, it is recommended that you consult an attorney to make sure that your Agreement and your Court documents are sufficient.
What are my other options for divorce?
There are other Alternative Dispute Resolutions that can help expedite the divorce process. In the state of Maryland, you and your spouse can decide on a Separation Agreement, Settlement Negotiations, Mediation, and Parent Coordination.
If you have questions about divorce, contact Laurie Wasserman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our main number 410-842-1070. The legal team at the Law Office of Laurie M. Wasserman is here to help you.