In any marriage, there is the chance for a divorce to occur. This might stem from an action or actions on the part of one spouse, or it could be something as simple as both spouses growing apart.

No matter what the circumstances, before you start the process it’s important to understand how to file for divorce in the state of Maryland, as there are specific state laws which dictate how, when, where and on what grounds you can file for divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

There are several possible grounds for filing for divorce in Maryland.


If you are seeking a no-fault divorce, the grounds are either a one-year voluntary and mutual separation with no interruption, living together or sexual relations, or a two-year separation that doesn’t involve living together or sexual relations. Understand that even spending a single night under the same roof, or having sexual relations once during this separation period resets the clock and lengthens the time you’ll have to wait to file for your divorce.

For those seeking a no-fault divorce in Maryland, you must live under separate roofs, and the separation must be mutual and voluntary. The point of the separation should be to end the marriage.

Contested or At-Fault

If you are seeking an at-fault divorce, the potential grounds are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion for one year
  • Cruelty
  • Excessively vicious conduct
  • Imprisonment for at least three years (with one year served)
  • Three or more years of insanity

The Process

The process of filing for divorce inevitably will involve specific paperwork that your attorney will prepare and file on your behalf.  In Maryland, the typical process for filing includes:

  • Prepare the necessary forms as mandated by state law
  • File paperwork with your local court
  • Your spouse is served with notice of filing
  • Your spouse will then file
  • The courts will require paperwork to be collected and submitted for consideration on topics such as support, visitation and marital assets
  • Court dates are set

Residency Requirements

In order to file for divorce in Maryland, one or both spouses must be a resident of the state. To prove residency, you must have lived in the state for at least one year. However, you do not have to have lived at the same address for that period – you can move around the state, but you cannot have moved out of the state for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. Proving residency is not difficult. A state-issued driver’s license or voter registration card is often all that is required.

In addition to proving residency, you’ll need to file for divorce in the right county. Your county is the “venue” in which your divorce will take place. Generally speaking, the circuit court that serves your county is where you will file your divorce.

The Importance of Qualified Legal Representation

No divorce is simple. Even no-fault divorces can be complicated by problems of property division and spousal support, debt, taxes and more. While filing for a no-fault divorce might sound like an expedient way to dissolve your marriage, this is not something that you should rush into. It’s vital that you work with an experienced Maryland divorce attorney.

When you file for divorce in Maryland, you’ll discover that even uncontested divorces require a significant amount of paperwork. When you add in the presence of children, the need to set visitation, child support, or considerable marital assets, that situation becomes extremely complicated.

Working with a local Maryland divorce attorney such as Planta & Satin, LLC, will ensure that you have excellent legal guidance and representation in court. It will also give you access to the collaborative divorce process, which may be the best way to go for many couples. However, both parties will need to have their own attorney, even in the collaborative divorce process.

Areas We Serve:

Planta & Satin, LLC, is proud to represent clients in divorces throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia, including, but not limited to the following areas:

  • District of Columbia, Washington D.C.
  • Wheaton-Glenmont, MD
  • Bethesda, MD
  • College Park, MD
  • Hagerstown, MD
  • Rockville, MD
  • Potomac, MD
  • Chevy Chase, MD
  • Gaithersburg, MD
  • Landover, MD
  • Frederick, MD
  • Germantown, MD
  • Wheaton, MD
  • Silver Spring, MD
  • North Potomac, MD
  • Derwood, MD
  • Takoma Park, MD
  • Montgomery County, MD

Working with an experienced Maryland divorce attorney will help ensure that your divorce is resolved correctly. Contact the offices of Planta & Satin, LLC to speak with an attorney today.