Since January 1, 2013, Maryland has acknowledged same-sex weddings and has accepted same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions since 2010. Even before the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland, the state’s top court determined that same-sex couples legally married in another state could divorce in Maryland.
To secure a divorce in Maryland, however, you must satisfy the state’s residence criteria. Moreover, the fact that many states continue to refuse to recognize same-sex weddings has prompted many LGBT couples to marry in states other than those in which they reside. When same-sex spouses decide to divorce, this might cause issues with state residence laws. At The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl, gay divorce lawyer are committed to fulfilling the legal requirements of LGBT couples.
Residency Requirements For A Divorce In Maryland
To apply for divorce in Maryland, at least one spouse must reside in the state. The residency requirement for filing a divorce complaint in Maryland varies on where the grounds for the divorce occurred. If the grounds for divorce happened in Maryland, you merely need to be a resident of the state to petition for divorce. However, if the grounds for divorce happened outside of Maryland, one of the spouses must have resided in the state for at least six months before filing the divorce complaint.
What Are The Grounds For A Divorce In Maryland?
Maryland provides divorces based on blame and without fault. The fundamental distinction is that a no-fault divorce needs a one-year separation period before a divorce, whereas a fault-based divorce does not. For a divorce based on fault, you must have one or more of the following grounds: adultery, desertion, criminal conviction, insanity, cruel treatment, or violent behavior.
Regarding all grounds for divorce, divorce will not be allowed only on the testimony of you and your husband. You must provide more proof, which may include the testimony of other witnesses. If you cannot show one of the fault-based reasons for divorce, you must pursue a no-fault divorce after a 12-month separation without incident. Even if your husband does not consent to the divorce, you can apply for divorce based on a 12-month separation.
Do You Still Satisfy The Residency Requirements If You Move After Filing?
After filing for divorce, you can move somewhere in Maryland or even out of state and still fulfill residence requirements. You or your spouse must have resided in Maryland at the time the divorce suit was filed. Keep in mind, though, that if you are pursuing a no-fault divorce, you will be required to provide proof of where you resided throughout the 12-month separation.
Exist Alternatives To A Traditional Divorce?
There are two forms of divorce in Maryland: absolute and limited. A limited divorce specifies the parties’ rights and responsibilities, but does not provide for a property split and does not authorize remarriage. An absolute divorce dissolves the marriage and resolves all of the parties rights and duties, including the final property distribution. The reasons for a divorce with no exceptions are enumerated on this page. A limited divorce may be obtained based on one of the following:
- The couples are living apart freely with little hope of a reunion
- Cruel treatment
- Violent behavior
- Desertion or purposeful desertion
Some couples who eventually want to petition for an absolute divorce will file for a limited divorce to begin the process. If you petition for a limited divorce, you may modify the complaint to seek a no-fault absolute divorce after 365 days of separation or by mutual consent if a full separation agreement has been executed.
We Assist Same-Sex Couples In Maryland
Our family law experts at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl assist same-sex couples in determining residence and other divorce criteria in Maryland.