Introduction to help with Maryland Divorce Forms Online
In order to understand the role these forms play, I think it is really helpful to get a general overview. Before we focus on how to fill out each form, I think it helps to know the context.
First, the really big picture: All divorce, child custody, visitation, child support and contempt actions are civil actions. You are probably aware of civil actions where people sue each other for money, car repairs, injuries etc.
That might seem counter-intuitive but the system is the system. Therefore, with a few procedural twists, the rules of evidence, the rules of procedure and the legal standards in domestic cases are the same as they are in other civil actions.
In divorce, or any civil actions, citizens of Maryland are entitled to due process. That means your spouse (or whomever you sue) has the following rights: 1st) The right to know what papers you filed. 2nd) The right to have copies of those papers you filed. 3rd) The right to respond to the papers you filed. 4th) The right to be notified of any hearings in the case and to participate in them.
When we review the forms, we will see that on each form there is a place to sign and show that you sent a copy of what you filed to the other side. If the form does not have a place for you to sign showing you sent a copy the form to the other side, don’t panic. There will be some accompanying document you file that serves as proof you delivered or mailed papers to the other side.
Generally speaking, the court clerks will not accept a filing without that notice or certification. Don’t rely on that. It is not their job. If you fail to follow this step in the procedure, bad things can happen.
The clerk’s office may return the documents to you. The clerks office and the court might take no action on what you filed. You may go to court and have the judge tell you that he/she cannot take action. None of the foregoing possibilities are good, and some can cost you months, not to mention possible attorney’s fees or other penalties in favor of the other side.
The Maryland Divorce Lawyer inside tip: The service line is the first thing you check!
Tim Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place
OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7
CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101
The Custody Place
322 West Patrick Street, #201 FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701