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The Maryland Courts have a website you can use to identify each judicial circuit by county. The entry-level trial court in Maryland is the district court, which handles less serious cases, like misdemeanors, small claims, and misdemeanors. The next level up is the circuit courts, which are also trial courts. They handle more serious matters, including divorces. Every county and the City of Baltimore are assigned to a circuit court. You must identify the correct circuit court before you begin your divorce.

The first thing that the plaintiff the spouse who begins the divorce needs to do is locate the correct forms and complete them. The Maryland Courts offer divorce forms online at no cost. There are highly detailed instructions that you must follow exactly.

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Take your time and work carefully. Type everything on a computer or write or print neatly. If you rush through the papers and make mistakes, your divorce could be delayed. Although many documents need to be completed, the most important is the complaint.

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The complaint provides a lot of information about the spouses and their marriage, and it includes a plea from the plaintiff for the court to order certain relief, like granting the divorce or ordering the defendant the other spouse to pay alimony. The plaintiff should then take the papers to the courthouse for filing. The court will issue a summons, create a case file, assign a number to the case, and charge a filing fee.

If you can't afford a fee, ask the clerk for an indigency waiver. You will provide financial information on the waiver form and if you meet the financial criteria i.

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The next step is for the plaintiff to serve the defendant. If you and your spouse have already been talking and reached an agreement, it may seem silly to have to serve the documents, but you must do it. If you think your spouse will cooperate, ask your spouse to sign an acknowledgement of service. If not, have them served by having a sheriff or private process server personally hand over the summons and complaint. The sheriff or process server will then give the plaintiff written proof of the service, which has to be filed at the courthouse.

At this point, the defendant can file an answer which indicates total agreement with the petition, and the plaintiff or the defendant can file their written separation agreement, which should show that they agree on all the important issues. Next, the plaintiff should write to the clerk of court to request an uncontested hearing date.

The plaintiff must appear at the hearing with a witness not the other spouse who can testify that the plaintiff has satisfied the residency requirements for a Maryland divorce. At the final hearing, the plaintiff will give testimony by responding to some brief questioning from the judge. The defendant can appear but also has the right to waive give up an appearance. The judge will sign the final divorce order if it is fair and reasonable and all the rules have been followed.

Thinking About Getting A Divorce In Maryland? Watch This FIRST! - Boston Law Group, LLC

The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service.

Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. Child Custody Child Support. Alimony Divorce and Property. Sums an adult destitute child receives, such as disability dependency benefits, may be set off against the support obligation. In a relatively recent case , a Maryland appellate court considered whether to modify the amount a father paid in child support after a mother lost a significant amount of income.

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The divorced couple had three children, the oldest of which was born with mild mental retardation. The trial judge found that the daughter with mild mental retardation qualified as a destitute adult child and therefore was entitled to continuing support from both parents.

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The father appealed. The Court of Special Appeals explained that only currently available resources could be considered in determining whether someone was an adult destitute child so the trial court had properly excluded consideration of this trust. An adult destitute child might have reasonable expenses that exceeded his or her means in order to ask for parental support. The court reasoned that the trial court had properly considered evidence on all of the expenses that the mother was claiming, including tuition, transportation and medical expenses.