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How Much Does It Cost for a Divorce in the State of Maryland?

It can be expensive to divorce. In general, the average cost of an uncontested divorce in the State of Maryland is thousands of dollars per person. Contested divorces and more complicated divorces (i.e., those involving high-net-worth individuals or complex fact patterns) can be exceptionally expensive, depending on the specific situation. Typically, the cost of divorce includes:

  • Attorneys’ fees, which are generally charged hourly
  • Court filing fees
  • Expert fees, such as professionals who review documents and give expert testimony.

How Long Do You Have to be Separated Before a Divorce in Maryland?

There is no such thing as a “legal separation” in Maryland. If you and your spouse live separate lives for at least six months, you can file for divorce based on the grounds of a “six-month separation.”  This does NOT mean that you must live under separate roofs or have separate households. But you must lead separate lives, which, at a minimum, means you are not physically intimate with your spouse. Lawyers will be closely watching the case law that comes out of this new change in Maryland law to be able to better advise their clients on what constitutes leading separate lives. In the meantime, until there is more clarification, clients are advised to maintain separate bedrooms and follow their own schedules and regimens. 

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Maryland?

You and your spouse agree that it’s time to live separate lives and that divorce is inevitable, but you don’t think either of you is at fault for the impending divorce. If you live in Maryland, you can take advantage of mutual consent laws if you qualify for the streamlined program. The first step is to negotiate a marital settlement agreement that covers the division of marital property, who will pay alimony and how much, and how child custody and support will be handled. 

When you present a marital settlement agreement to the family court judge in your mutual consent divorce, you are telling that judge that you want those terms to be the law for you and your spouse. An absolute divorce is a final and permanent judicial decree that forever severs your marriage and restores you to single status.

How long will this take? There is no one answer to this question. These factors all will play into the length of time a divorce takes to be finalized:

  • How long will it take you and your spouse to develop a marital settlement agreement, i.e., do you have many assets and/or a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement signed by the parties? 
  • How much information has to be gathered? 
  • How busy is your court?

To be safe, we suggest that our clients plan on 30 to 120 days after a marital agreement has been finalized.

Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Maryland?

Maryland is an equitable distribution state. If the family home is marital property, it will be divided as part of the divorce settlement.  However, if the parties desire to negotiate the home’s disposition in their marital settlement agreement, they may do so. Note that if the family has minor children, the custodial parent may petition for and be granted the right to use and possess the family home for up to three years after the finalization of the divorce. 

Speak to a Bethesda Divorce Lawyer Today

If you have questions or concerns about your specific situation, please contact our office as soon as possible. Our Bethesda divorce lawyer will advise you and ensure you obtain the best outcome possible.