Making the decision to file for divorce is only the first step in the process. Once you know you want to file, you will have to begin working through the legal system to end up at the final hearing where the judge ends your marriage.
According to Maryland Courts, the divorce process begins with making some decisions about the direction in which you will take your divorce.
Type of divorce
In this state, you have two options for filing a divorce. You can file for an absolute divorce, which ends the marriage, or a limited divorce, which is a separation that does not end the marriage but handles all the other details, such as child support and custody, spousal support and property division.
Grounds for divorce
You will also want to decide which grounds you wish to file upon. Because this is a legal situation where you are suing your spouse to end the marriage contract, you must prove to the court why it should grant your request.
For a limited divorce, you may file on the grounds of separation, cruelty and desertion. If you are filing an absolute divorce, you also have the options of mutual consent, adultery, insanity and imprisonment.
Note that filing under mutual consent is the same as filing a no-fault divorce or under irreconcilable differences. You and your spouse will need to come to an agreement to settle your divorce to use this grounds.
Filing a divorce
Once you are prepared to file, you will need to use the proper forms and file in the county in which you live at the circuit court. You also must pay the required fees. It is your job to serve your spouse with the papers as well and provide the court with proof that you served the papers. The easiest way to do this is through certified mail with a return receipt.
Deciding to divorce can be a difficult decision, but once you take that first step, there are a few more decisions you must make and tasks to take care of before you are officially filing to end your marriage.