In Maryland, How Long Does A Divorce Last?

People may perceive divorce as a protracted procedure, but this is not the case. If you want to move things ahead fast, you may discuss it with your attorneys since there are actions you can do to expedite the procedure. In most circumstances, if you live in Maryland, the measures required to seek a divorce will be governed by Maryland laws, even if you were married in another state. A Maryland divorce normally takes 30 to 120 days to become final when a Marital Separation Agreement is completed but a contested divorce could take 9 months to a few years. The amount of time can, however, vary based on the court, caseload, and availability of judges.

At The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl, we believe that when our clients fully grasp the legal process, they feel more at ease. When a lawyer fails to maintain an open, active channel of contact with their client, it can lead to dissatisfaction and disappointment when unexpected delays occur. Although every divorce is unique, most follow the timeframe below.

Making The Choice

Coming to grips with the fact that your relationship is finished and that it is best for everyone in your family to move on is typically the most difficult part of the divorce.

Hiring A Maryland Divorce Lawyer

It is never too early to consult with an attorney about your divorce plans. A qualified divorce lawyer will walk you through every step of the process and answer all of your questions. In contrast, if you have been served with divorce proceedings or your husband has submitted a Marital Settlement Agreement, you should consult an expert lawyer right once to safeguard your interests. Whether you are the starting spouse or not, your lawyer will begin by speaking with you to gather facts.

Identifying The Divorce Grounds

If you are the starting spouse, your lawyer will then submit a complaint on your behalf. The petition explains to the court why you want to divorce and how you intend to handle any property, child, asset, and debt concerns. Your counselor will help determine the sort of divorce you want and the legal reasons for the divorce. Maryland recognizes two forms of divorce: limited divorce and absolute divorce. A limited divorce simply addresses financial and child custody concerns while you and your husband continue to drift apart and decide whether to pursue an absolute divorce. A Marital Separation Agreement is another method for accomplishing the same aims.

You must show at least one “ground” for divorce if you file for an absolute divorce. There are “no-fault” grounds and “fault” grounds in Maryland. The majority of divorces will be “no-fault.” Couples must separate for a full year before filing for divorce in these cases unless they have a signed Marital Separation Agreement and no children under the age of 18. Divorce can be swift and relatively easy if there is a Marital Separation Agreement and no young children. You do not have to wait 12 months if you can show one of the at-fault reasons for divorce, such as adultery, desertion, cruelty, insanity, or a criminal conviction.

Divorce Petition

Your lawyer will then petition for divorce with the court (in many cases, this occurs after the 12-month separation period). The divorce decree is then served on your spouse. They must react, and a hearing date will be appointed by the court. Even if your spouse does not answer, you can still proceed as long as they have been served. The served spouse must then respond within 30 days, occasionally 60. After the receiving spouse submits a response, the parties start exchanging papers and information about the case. In rare circumstances, mediation can address all difficulties.

A Hearing Or A Trial

If your lawsuit does not settle, you will have to go to trial. A trial can take anywhere from a few months to 18 months to schedule, depending on the court’s backlog and each spouse’s willingness to hurry the procedures ahead.


Once a decision on property, assets, custody, child support, alimony, or other issues has been made, both parties have the right to appeal.