Divorcing an Imprisoned Spouse in Maryland

Divorcing an Imprisoned Spouse in Maryland

Divorce is not easy both emotionally and legally. Anyone will require help during this time from family, loved ones, and a lawyer. As a Law office, we understand this, so we provide you with an overview of divorce in the state of Maryland as well as the associated processes, especially if the divorce grounds are criminal.

The laws governing the dissolution of marriage in America vary from state to state, but they all involve the termination of a marriage by a judge or other authority thereby granting the parties permission to marry other individuals. Spousal support, child support, child custody, debt division, and distribution of property are all included in divorce proceedings. The dissolution of marriage is known as absolute divorce in Maryland and all issues, including property, are resolved. It differs from limited divorce in that limited divorce does not end the marriage but resolves some important issues. Divorcing spouses are not required to show a reason for the dissolution with “fault,” or “no-fault” divorces allowed. Imprisonment is an example of a “fault.”

Divorcing spouses can obtain marriage dissolution if they show one party was at fault such as imprisonment. This can be achieved if you can prove that your spouse;

  • Was convicted of a crime
  • Was sentenced to at least three years or an indeterminate time
  • At the time of divorce filing, had served 12 months.

Filing for Divorce in Maryland

Divorce is granted after following some steps due to the complexity involved in the resolution of alimony, retirement assets, child custody, or property. Having a lawyer represent you is beneficial in this process with its important deadlines, fees, and additional forms.

If all aspects of the divorce bring about no conflict between you and your spouse in regards to the division of property and child custody, your Maryland lawyer can file the divorce petition that negotiates the property division, child custody, and alimony and see to it that the paperwork is served to your spouse. Maryland divides property by equitable distribution. Obtain his/her inmate number to serve your spouse through a sheriff and private process server. The process server will complete an Affidavit of Service of Process that will be filed with the court by you.

Your attorney will draw up the settlement agreement after the signing of the petition by your spouse. You can deliver the settlement agreement to your spouse for review and signing. After your spouse has signed the settlement agreement, it will be filed along with other necessary documents with the court and a court appearance scheduled. At the court appearance, you will be required to answer questions before the judge while under oath regarding the divorce agreement and your marriage. The judge will grant the divorce if the hearing goes as planned.

What complications can occur?

Divorces are rarely as smooth as was the case above. Your spouse may become uncooperative and contest the divorce. However, once the divorce petition is filed, it is hard for your spouse to prevent the dissolution of the marriage. They can use tactics such as delaying or stalling and making the process difficult, but once a person decides to leave another, you cannot convince them otherwise.

The best advice would be to enlist the services of a skilled and experienced Maryland Lawyer who will be aggressive in demanding your best interests, follow their professional advice, and be patient. Give us a call today!