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Divorce Attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Divorce can be a painful and emotionally draining experience. As your advocate, the divorce attorney at Kathleen M. Kirchner Attorney At Law is here to help. With an office in Annapolis, Maryland, Kathleen represents divorcing individuals and couples throughout Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and surrounding counties, including Calvert, Howard, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne’s Counties.  

Kathleen helps clients navigate through the divorce process efficiently so they can transition to the next phase of their life with minimum stress and hassle. Reach out to request a free consultation with Kathleen and get answers to your questions.  

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Divorce in Maryland

As of October 1, 2023, Maryland changed the divorce laws.

Legal grounds for Divorce:

One spouse must prove that at least one “ground” exists before the court will grant a divorce. There are three grounds for divorce:

  • Mutual consent - You and your spouse can agree to divorce and sign a written agreement (called a marital settlement agreement) that resolves all issues related to alimony, marital property, and the care, custody, and support of any minor or dependent children. You can use form and file it with a complaint for divorce.

  • 6-Month Separation – You and your spouse have lived separate and apart, without interruption, for at least six months before filing a complaint for absolute divorce. You can still live under the same roof but must pursue separate lives. The separation can also be based on a court order, such as a protective order.

  • Irreconcilable Differences – You believe, or your spouse believes, that your marriage should end for reasons that cannot be resolve.

Eligibility to File for Divorce in Maryland:

You can file for Divorce in a Maryland circuit court if you or your spouse is a Maryland resident. If the ground for divorce happened outside of Maryland, one of you must have been a Maryland resident for at least six months at the time of filing.


Alimony, or spousal support, is a periodic support payment one former spouse makes to the other. Alimony can only be ordered before a final divorce decree is entered. You cannot ask for alimony after a divorce is final.

There are three types of alimony:

  • Pendente lite alimony - This is temporary support one spouse pays to the other while the divorce action is pending (before the court issues a final divorce decree).

  • Rehabilitative alimony – This type of alimony provides support for a limited time or for a limited purpose. The goal is to provide one spouse with temporary support so they can become self-supporting. For example, the court can order alimony for two years to allow the receiving spouse to earn a degree. This is the most common type of alimony.

  • Indefinite alimony – This type provides support to one spouse with no end point. This type of alimony is rare but may be awarded if one spouse cannot make reasonable progress toward becoming self-supporting. This could be because of their age, an illness, or a disability. It may also be ordered if the standard of living of one spouse would significantly change.

If you and your spouse cannot reach your own agreement about alimony, the court will decide for you. Courts consider a variety of factors including the length of your marriage, your financial situations, how any marital property is divided, the reasons for your divorce, and your and your spouse’s ages and health.

Unless you and your spouse agree otherwise, alimony can be modified or extended.

Marital Property:
Marital property is property that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. It does not matter how the property is titled or who paid for it. It can include real estate, bank accounts, pension and retirement accounts, vehicles, furniture and other personal property, and businesses.

Marital property does not include:

  • property one of you acquired before you got married

  • gifts or inheritances made only to you or your spouse

  • property you and your spouse agree are not marital

  • property traceable to any of the above sources, such as items purchased with money from an inheritance

Property can be part marital and part non-marital. We can assist you in determining what property is marital and which is non-marital.

f you and your spouse have children in common, the court can order that one spouse has exclusive use of the family home and “family use personal property,” which are items used for family purposes like the family car, furniture, and household items. This can be awarded to the spouse who has primary physical custody of your child/children for up to three years from the time of divorce. The goal of a Court that grants this request is to allow children to stay in a "familiar environment and community."


A divorce decree can also address child support and custody.

  • Child support – Parents have an obligation to financially support their children. In general, a parent who has primary physical custody (also called parenting time), will receive child support payments. The amount of child support will be based on a formula that takes into account each parents’ income and expenses, and the child’s needs. The amount of child support must be in the best interests of your child.

  • Child Custody – Your divorce decree can address when your children spend time with you and your spouse (parenting time or physical custody) and how decisions about your children will be made (decision-making authority or legal custody). You and your spouse can create your own written parenting plan (custody agreement) and file it during your divorce.

    Divorce can be complex. You may have a lot at stake if child custody is an issue, or if property, retirement assets, or alimony needs to be resolved.

    Kathleen will assist in cases where the issues are as straight forward as divorce by mutual consent or a contested divorce with complicated issues. If your spouse has a lawyer, it is always important to have a lawyer to protect your interests. Contact Kathleen M. Kirchner Attorney At Law

Divorce Attorney Serving Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Divorce in Maryland is often a hostile and adversarial process. You will need to seek legal counsel from a divorce attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, to get assistance in navigating the legal intricacies of divorce proceedings. Kathleen M. Kirchner Attorney At Law can listen to your concerns and help you through the divorce process. Call Kathleen to schedule a free consultation.