Can Same-Sex Couples Get Divorced in Maryland?

November 20, 2023 - By: Stuart H. Grozbean

Yes, same-sex couples have the legal right to divorce in Maryland. The state legally recognizes same-sex marriages and allows for divorce proceedings for couples irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation. Maryland has acknowledged the rights of same-sex couples to marry since 2013, following the passage of legislation permitting same-sex marriage.

The legal procedures for divorce for same-sex couples in Maryland are generally analogous to those for heterosexual couples. The dissolution of a marriage involves a series of steps, including the filing of divorce papers, determination of child custody and support (if applicable), division of assets, and alimony considerations. Both parties have the right to legal representation and can negotiate or litigate the terms of the divorce settlement.

When a same-sex couple decides to end their marriage in Maryland, they must meet the residency requirement, which typically involves at least one spouse residing in the state for a specified period before filing for divorce. The process may differ slightly based on individual circumstances, such as whether the marriage occurred in Maryland or another jurisdiction.

Maryland’s family courts address various aspects of divorce, aiming to ensure equitable resolutions regarding property division, spousal support, and child custody or support. The court’s primary focus is on the well-being of any children involved and the fair distribution of marital assets.

Legal professionals specializing in family law can guide same-sex couples through the divorce process, ensuring their rights are protected and assisting in navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings. Mediation or collaborative divorce options may also be available, allowing couples to reach settlements outside the courtroom.

In summary, same-sex couples have the legal ability to seek divorce in Maryland, and the procedures and considerations involved are akin to those for heterosexual couples. The state’s recognition of same-sex marriages ensures that couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, have access to the legal mechanisms for ending their marriages when necessary.