In Maryland an absolute divorce allows the spouses to leave completely rather than partially. An absolute divorce requires that a person proves grounds. There are two grounds for separation. Maryland has eight which tend to overlap. The time for an absolute to divorce to take place depends on which ground the spouses file a divorce on.
Uncontested divorces may take up to three months after filing and an uncontested divorce may take up to eighteen months. The time can be based on how quickly an agreement is reached in resolving issues such as child custody, alimony, marital property divisions and payment of shared debts.
However, the major difference between Maryland’s divorce laws from other states is the lengthy process a couple may go through before filing for a dissolve bonds of matrimony. This is because the court is strict on what is considered a ground for absolute divorce. Because of this it can take up to 2 to 3 years for a couple to be given permission to file for an absolute dissolve bonds of matrimony.
To get an absolute divorce in Maryland both partners have to live apart from each other for up to one year without interruption before they are allowed to file for an absolute dissolve bonds of matrimony. Or if both spouses live apart from each other for at least two years without each other’s consent. This separation agreement may shorten the time it takes for a dissolve bonds of matrimony. Other grounds in Maryland include adultery, including homosexual acts whereby the evidence must be clear and convincing, cruelty which requires physical or extreme emotional harm to the partner filing for dissolve bonds of matrimony and/or to a child, desertion in which one party leaves the marital residence without the other partners consent and it has been at least a year or the conviction, imprisonment of one spouse for a year or if one spouse has been in a mental institution for at least 3 years and the other spouse has been a resident of Maryland for at least 2 years. Providing on a fault grounds rather than a no-fault ground is much more complicated and can take a lot more time. However, it may be worth the effort as the proof of fault may have an effect on the division of marital property and an alimony.
In the event that dissolution of marriage is filed on cruelty, violence or adultery there is no waiting period to file for an absolute dissolution of marriage in Maryland. The spouse seeking a dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty and/or violence may seek an absolute dissolution of marriage as soon as both spouses have been separated and do not need to wait a year. If a spouse is seeking complete dissolution of marriage based on the ground of adultery then they may file for an absolute dissolution of marriage while still living with the guilty spouse.
A major time-consuming factor when seeking an absolute dissolution of marriage is drawing up a separation agreement. This agreement addresses martial property division, child custody and visitation, Maryland spousal and child support.
If you need a Virginia Divorce Lawyer to help you with your divorce case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia divorce attorneys can help you. C