How Long Does a Divorce Take in Maryland?

If you have decided to end your marital relationship, you are probably interested in the time frame of your future divorce. How long does a divorce take in Maryland after you file with the court? The divorce timeline depends mostly on the duration of steps spouses must go through. Also, the court workload often affects the timelines of marriage dissolution.

After reading this article, you will find out the average duration of the divorce process and if there is any Maryland divorce waiting period. You will also get an answer to, “How long do you have to be separated before divorce in MD?”.

If your case is uncontested, and you want to complete the paperwork for divorce in a few days and without stress, you can use our reliable and fast online document preparation service.

The cost of divorce in Maryland depends on case specifics, particularly whether it is a simple divorce or a complicated contested dissolution. The divorce cost in Maryland is affected by the presence of disputed divorce issues on property, minor children, alimony, etc. In this article, we have gathered information to answer the question, “How much does a divorce cost in Maryland?” and focused on the factors affecting the divorce cost.

Besides, if you are going to apply for uncontested marriage dissolution and need help with complicated legal paperwork, we can provide you with the necessary papers in just a few days. It is a convenient way to reduce your offline or online divorce costs when it comes to preparing documents.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Maryland?

The divorce timeline for agreed-upon marriage dissolution is from 2 to 3 months, on average. Spouses are not required to be separated before divorce unless a 6-months separation is an official ground they specify in the Divorce Complaint.

Given that there is no waiting period in the state, the answer to the question, “How long does an uncontested divorce take in Maryland?” will depend on how quickly the defendant responds after being served and how soon the court can start reviewing the case after all divorce papers are submitted.

If there are no disputes left and you are divorcing based on mutual consent, you need to conclude a Marital Settlement Agreement and specify all the divorce terms in it (MD Code, Family Law, §7-103). Although you still need to serve your spouse, your uncontested divorce process will be faster than a contested one because you likely won’t have to attend multiple court hearings to resolve child-related or property division issues.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Maryland if the reason for terminating your marriage is separation or irreconcilable differences? If your case is uncontested and you enter into a Settlement Agreement, the ground for marriage dissolution will likely not affect the length of your divorce.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Maryland?

The duration of the divorce process for contested cases can range from 3-6 months to a year or more. Typically, its timeline is much longer compared to how long a mutual consent divorce takes in Maryland due to the disputed issues to settle.

Just like in the agreed-upon marriage dissolution, spouses are not required to complete any waiting period if the case is contested. However, it is difficult to reply in advance to the question, “How long does it take to get a divorce in Maryland when there are disputes on property division or child custody between spouses?”

The overall divorce timeline may be affected by:

  • the number of disputes to resolve,
  • the level of cooperation between parties
  • the involvement and workload of lawyers, evaluators, mediators, and other specialists,
  • the court schedule,
  • the number of hearings spouses should attend, etc.

Since spouses cannot agree on the marriage dissolution terms, meaning mutual consent divorce is not an option, only a 6-month separation or irreconcilable differences can serve as grounds for divorce (MD Code, Family Law, §7-103). Cases without a concluded Marital Agreement and involving disputes are more time-consuming since parties should decide on all issues during a trial, or the court will decide for them.

How Long Does a Divorce Case Stay Open in Maryland?

There are no clearly specified timeframes for how long a case can remain open in Maryland. Depending on the case specifics, it can take a few months to a year or more. The divorce process starts when the plaintiff files a Complaint for Absolute Divorce with the court. It is finalized when the judge grants a divorce and signs a Divorce Decree.

To obtain a marriage dissolution, spouses must follow some mandatory stages, such as:

  • preparing the documents,
  • submitting them to the clerk’s office,
  • serving the respondent,
  • receiving an answer,
  • scheduling a court hearing.

Unlike in some other states, there is no specific Maryland divorce waiting period from filing with the court till the judge can start reviewing the case.

The divorce timeline may be prolonged if there are minor children involved. It is explained by the need to attend a court-ordered educational seminar for parents (MD Code, Family Law, §7-103.2).

The place where the defendant was served with the divorce papers can also affect the duration of the process. The respondent has 30, 60, or 90 days to answer a Complaint depending on where they received the documents: in-state, out-of-state, or in another country. The case cannot be finalized until the response is provided.

However, if the defendant violates the deadline for response, the petitioner can file a court request for an order of default to move further and close the case without the other party’s input. 

When Is a Divorce Final in Maryland?

Marriage dissolution is finalized when the judge finds the terms of a Marital Settlement Agreement to be fair or decides on child custody, maintenance, spousal support, and property division independently and signs a Divorce Decree.

How long does it take for a divorce to be final in Maryland? It mostly depends on the presence or absence of disagreements between spouses regarding the terms of marriage dissolution and the court workload. There is no Maryland divorce waiting period that can affect the process duration. The divorce timeline for contested cases usually ranges from 6 to 12 months, while uncontested ones can sometimes be finished within 1 month.

The most common option to finalize the divorce process faster and without extra stress is to indicate mutual consent as grounds for your divorce and conclude a Settlement Agreement.

Spouses filing for uncontested dissolution can save time on preparing divorce papers and order them online. With the help of our service, you can get the necessary paperwork in a few days, so you will not have to spend much time searching for and filling out all the forms yourself.