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Valentine’s Day: A Day of Love and Divorce

Valentine’s Day, coined a Hallmark holiday, for many throughout the nation can be a time of love and expectations. With fancy meals, chocolates, balloons, and heart shaped everything it’s easy to get swept up in the holiday of love. Some couples even rush to the courthouse on Valentine’s Day to get married. Other rush to the courthouse on Valentine’s Day for another reason altogether.

According to a study on, a site that offers free ratings and profiles for lawyers and licensed MDs, released data that shows a 40 percent increase in divorce filings during the period surrounding the Hallmark holiday. Tracking the numbers over several years now has revealed on the Avvo platform that divorce filings on Valentine’s Day are becoming more common and consistent. Avvo has dubbed this effect the “Valentine’s Effect.”

By the Numbers: Divorce in the U.S.

One of the biggest areas of contention and stress in a marriage (and out) is money. It is also one of the top contributing factors to divorce across the nation. Divorce is no different, bringing its own stress and contention with money. The average national cost of divorce in the U.S. is $15,000 per person, including attorney’s fees, court costs and any expert witnesses you may need to hire (tax advisor, child custody evaluator, etc.).

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Maryland?

The average length of time it takes to get a divorce (after you’ve filed your paperwork) can range from 3 months to 12 months depending whether its contested. There are some instances where the process can be as little as two months or go beyond a year.

An uncontested divorce means that both parties have agreed to divorce and have a written Separation Agreement covering topics from child custody and support to division of property and other assets. You do not need to assign fault for an uncontested divorce – and in fact, arguing fault could result in a lengthier time to finalizing your divorce.

A contested divorce is when the two parties cannot agree on one or more points, whether it’s divorcing at all or child custody or division of assets. Even if the parties have both agreed to the divorce, if one item cannot be agreed upon, it is still classed as a contested divorce. Contested divorces may require adversarial proof and can delay the finalizing of your divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

All divorces in Maryland require proof of grounds. Before you file for divorce, you must have determined a ground in which your divorce is based on. Here’s where it can get messy… If you accused your spouse of infidelity but cannot prove it in court, you may be liable for paying their legal fees for the divorce process. This is where having an experienced divorce attorney in Prince George’s county, Maryland can come in handy.

There are two types of divorce in Maryland – absolute divorce and limited divorce. An absolute divorce legally ends your divorce while a limited divorce settles some issues (i.e. property distribution, custody, finances, etc.), but does not end your marriage. The grounds for divorce in Maryland are as follows:

Limited Divorce:

  • Two year’s involuntary separation in which both parties have lived separate and apart for a period of not less than two consecutive years, without interruption, involuntarily.

  • Desertion, where one party deserts their spouse for one full year without “legal cause, actual or constructive (forced to leave by the behavior of your spouse)”.

  • Cruelty.

  • Excessively vicious conduct.

Absolute Divorce:

  • One year’s mutual separation in which both parties have lived separate and apart for at least a full and consecutive 12 months (mutual consent).

  • Adultery.

  • Insanity, in which one party has been confined to a mental institution for a period of not less than three years.

  • Imprisonment for a crime.

Divorce Attorney in Prince George’s County, Maryland

If you have questions or concerns regarding divorcing your spouse, you’ll want an experienced divorce lawyer in Prince George’s County, Maryland to take the time to address them. Kemet Hunt Law Group has over 20 years of experience in family law and serves each client with the respect and support they need. Give our office a call today to schedule a consultation: 301-982-0888.

Kemet Hunt Law Group Inc. is a Maryland firm whose strong belief in client communication and down-to-earth values make it a unique asset to those who need legal assistance. With a mission to serve their clients with respect, professionalism and skill, the attorneys at Kemet Hunt have used their expertise to successfully represent hundreds of people with family law, criminal, business, bankruptcy, immigration, and other legal issues.

Valentine’s Day: A Day of Love and Divorce
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