In an uncontested divorce case in Maryland, the plaintiff needs to appear in court to testify.  The Court of Appeals once issued a rule that allowed for summary judgment in divorce cases so no one would have to appear.  However, the Legislature felt that divorce should be treated as a more serious matter, and so it passed the following law in 1984:

Oral testimony required for final decree.  In an action for alimony, annulment, or divorce, a final decree may not be entered except on oral testimony by the plaintiff in a hearing before an examiner or a master or in open court.  MD Family Law Article, Section 1-203(c).

The defendant need only appear if he or she wants to do so. You will need to bring a witness with you to corroborate the facts of your divorce.

2 replies
  1. Jonathan Kales
    Jonathan Kales says:

    I practice law in Northern Virginia, with an emphasis in my work on collaborative divorce, divorce mediation, and uncontested divorce. VA doesn’t have such a rule; and, therefore, many VA counties allow the corroborating testimony to be taken via deposition. Fairfax County even allows the use of a deposition upon written questions.

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