How Long Does Divorce Take in Maryland?

patrickcrawford | March 8, 2024

If you are considering a divorce in Maryland or if you have already decided to move forward with a case, a common question you might have is how long the process will take. The answer varies widely depending on the details of each case. 


Once a marital separation agreement has been reached, it typically takes between one to four months for the divorce to be finalized. This can vary depending on the court’s caseload and other factors. However, it can take much longer to reach a marital agreement, and there are other factors to consider. 


To get an idea of how long your specific case might take, consult an Annapolis divorce attorney directly. 


The Standard Timeline for a Divorce in Maryland

If everything goes smoothly and there are no delays, you can expect a divorce to take between 30 and 120 days in Maryland from the time you file your Marital Separation Agreement with the court. Ideally, this would fall on the lower side, and the divorce process would be closer to 30 days from the time that the paperwork is all filed. That said, there are other actions you and your spouse will need to take before you can officially file for a divorce. 


Potential Delays in the Maryland Divorce Process

There are several different ways that a divorce might be delayed in Maryland; some of these are within your control, and others are out of your hands and rely on state divorce laws. One of the most common and frustrating reasons that a divorce process might be delayed is if the separating couple is unable to come to an agreement.


If you cannot agree to divorce or cannot agree on all divorce-related matters, you will need to negotiate or mediate the matter before you file your paperwork. In some situations, issues might even require litigation. This can dramatically increase the timeline of your case.  


Another factor that can extend a divorce is a fault-based divorce. One spouse might cite fault-based grounds for the end of the marriage, which might include adultery, desertion, or conviction of a crime. Proving fault can take extra time.


Even if you have a no-fault divorce, you might have to wait longer to file. Not everyone qualifies for a quick mutual consent, no-fault divorce. If you have minor children, you will have to comply with a 12-month separation period before you can file your divorce paperwork. Once the separation period is over, you can file your Marital Separation Agreement and proceed with court approval of the final divorce. 


Your Annapolis divorce attorney can advise you on how your divorce might proceed and help your case go the most efficient path possible. 


Talk to a Skilled Maryland Divorce Attorney As Soon as Possible

Once you have decided that a divorce is inevitable, there is no reason to delay reaching out to an experienced attorney. The team at the Law Office of Patrick Crawford is dedicated to working with our clients who are going through the divorce process. Contact us online today to set up a free initial consultation, or call us at 410-216-7905 to learn more about how we can help. 


Patrick Crawford

Patrick is an Annapolis Family Lawyer dedicated to helping you through the most complex and emotional family law matters. During his career, Patrick has successfully represented countless people in divorce, child custody, child support, domestic violence and other family law cases of diverse complexity.

Years of experience: 20+ years.
Maryland Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Patrick Crawford, who has more than 16 years of legal experience practicing family law.