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Maryland absolute divorce overview

An absolute divorce is a complete dissolution of a marriage. Once this type of divorce is granted in Maryland, each of the parties can take on a new spouse.

A spouse seeking an absolute divorce is advised to use the services of an attorney if the process is being contested and the other party has legal representation. Anyone who wants to put an end to a marriage but cannot locate his or her spouse when filing papers might also need a lawyer. If married people own property together or have a pension account, these situations also might require legal representation. A divorcing parent also may require legal assistance when deciding who should have child custody.

Any person who plans to end a marriage will need to file in the county where both parties currently reside. A couple does not have to file divorce papers in the county where they originally got married. The one requesting the divorce would put his or her name in the plaintiff section of the documentation and the spouse being served would be included in the defendant section of the papers. People planning to divorce also need to fill in marriage date and location. Information about children, marital and non-marital property, and other dependents living with the couple also need to be included on the divorce forms.

An attorney can help Maryland residents file for an absolute divorce. Legal representation will benefit a divorcing client when filling out the required forms, and an attorney can also be useful in negotiating a comprehensive divorce settlement agreement with the other party that can include provisions relating to the division of marital property and other issues.

Source: Maryland Courts, "Instructions for Completing Dom Rel 20", September 19, 2014

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