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Divorce takes longer than marriage

Many individuals who go through divorce find themselves frustrated and angry at the lengthy amount of time generally required to complete the process. Maryland residents may question why a divorce can take more than a year to finalize while they can be married after waiting just two days, the waiting period required by the state. Likewise, divorces are often much more expensive than marriage licenses, which typically cost no more than $40 or $50.

The reason divorce often takes so long is that it is usually much more legally complex than marriage; this is also why divorcees generally seek the help of family law attorneys. Even in the case of an uncontested divorce, in which both spouses agree on how to divide their assets and have already drafted a child custody agreement, it can take months before the parties involved are officially unmarried.

All divorces require the party that filed for divorce to attend a hearing before a master, who must recommend that your filing be approved before a judge can grant a divorce. At such a hearing, the filing spouse is required to present evidence illustrating why a divorce is necessary; Maryland accepts a number of legal grounds for divorce, though all U.S. states now allow for no-fault divorce.

While this process already lasts longer than a typical marriage, other factors can extend it considerably. For instance, Maryland judges may delay divorce proceedings if they involve active military members. Divorces can become especially lengthy when the couple disagrees on some key factor, such as whether to sell their marital home and divide the proceeds between themselves.

Source: Carroll County Times, "Legal Matters: Getting a divorce always takes longer than getting married," Donna Engle, Dec. 9, 2012

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