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Maryland Attorneys Help Same-Sex Couples Divorce

Maryland has recognized same-sex marriages since January 1, 2013, and has honored same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions since 2010. Even before same-sex marriages could be performed in Maryland, the state’s highest court ruled that same-sex couples legally married in another state could divorce in Maryland.

But, to obtain a divorce in Maryland, you have to meet the state’s residency requirements. And, the fact that many states still fail to recognize same-sex marriages has led many LGBT couples to marry in states other than those in which they regularly reside. That can create complications with state residency requirements when same-sex spouses decide to divorce. Our family law attorneys at McLeod, Weschler & Yeager, P.C., are dedicated to meeting the legal needs of LGBT couples.

Residency Requirements For A Maryland Divorce

To file for divorce in Maryland, at least one spouse must be physically living in Maryland. How long a party must have lived in Maryland before filing a divorce complaint depends on where the grounds for the divorce occurred. If the grounds for divorce occurred in Maryland, you need only to be living in the state at the time you file for divorce. But if the grounds for divorce occurred outside Maryland, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Maryland for at least six months before the filing of the divorce complaint.

What Are The Grounds For A Maryland Divorce?

As of October 1, 2023, there are no longer fault grounds for divorce, there are only three grounds for no-fault divorces. The three no fault grounds are irreconcilable differences making continuation of the marriage impossible, mutual consent (if you have a signed agreement that resolves all issues arising from the marriage, and a six month separation (which requires a physical separation and not living in the same home).

With respect to all grounds for divorce, you must present evidence, which can include your testimony or the testimony of another witness or witnesses. You can file for divorce based on a 6-month separation even if your spouse does not consent to the divorce.

Do You Still Meet The Residency Rules If You Move After You File?

You can move elsewhere in Maryland or even out of state after you file for divorce and still meet the residency requirements. What matters is that you or your spouse resided in Maryland when the divorce complaint was filed. You need to have been a resident in Maryland for at least six months before you can file for divorce in the State. Our Frederick and Rockville family law attorneys will help you sort out the residency requirements when you wish to file for a divorce.

Are There Alternatives To A Full-Fledged Divorce?

As of October 1, 2023, the answer to this question is no. Where there used to be limited divorces in Maryland, that law changed on October 2023 and there no longer are limited divorces in Maryland. An absolute divorce ends the marriage and determines all rights and obligations of the parties, including the final division of property. The grounds for an absolute divorce are limited to irreconcilable differences, mutual consent, and six months physical separation with no hope or expectation of a reconciliation.

We Help Same-Sex Couples Throughout Maryland

Our family law attorneys at McLeod, Weschler & Yeager, P.C., help same-sex couples sort out the residency and other requirements for Maryland divorces. Call us at 301-850-7234 or contact us online today. Our offices are in Frederick and Rockville. Our lawyers represent individuals and families throughout Frederick, Montgomery and Howard counties and beyond.