Under Maryland law, divorce is the legal termination of a martial union ordered by the court. There are two types of divorce recognised by the state or Maryland. These include an absolute divorce and a limited divorce. An absolute divorce is the permanent ending of a marriage declared by the court. While a limited divorce is only a legal separation and does not officially end the marriage.
When filing for an absolute divorce the plaintiff must declare grounds in which the divorce will be filed on. There are two types of grounds; these include fault grounds and no-fault grounds. Filing a divorce based on no-fault grounds can be less time consuming and cheaper. The spouses seeking an absolute divorce must file for a separation agreement. This states that both spouses must live for at least 12 months apart without any interruption. After this one year time period is over then they may file for an absolute divorce in Maryland.
Acceptable fault 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 complaining party and/or a child, abandonment in which one party leaves the marital residence without the other spouses consent, insanity of either spouse which has resulted in him or her to be in a mental institution for at least 3 years, or the conviction or imprisonment of one spouse for at least a year. Providing on a fault ground rather than a no-fault ground is much more complicated and time-consuming. However, it may be worth the effort as the proof of fault may have an effect on the division of marital property and alimony.
If an absolute divorce is filed on the fault grounds adultery, cruelty or violence then there is no waiting period. The spouse seeking a divorce on the ground of cruelty and/or violence may seek an absolute divorce as soon as both spouses have been separated and do not need to wait a year. If a spouse is seeking an absolute divorce based on the ground of adultery then they may file for an absolute divorce while still living with the guilty spouse.
A limited divorce is when a married couple is separated. They are not legally separated instead the couple is still legally married while living apart. In Maryland, a limited divorce may be sought if the spouses do not fit the requirements of an absolute divorce. They are granted permission to live apart from each other despite remaining officially and legally married. This means that both spouses cannot remarry and it may be considered as adultery if they do date or engage in any sexual contact with another person. However, a limited divorce may be helpful in temporarily settling financial and custodial issues. If a limited divorce isn’t necessary then the spouses can file for a separation agreement before being allowed to file for an absolute divorce after one year of separation. In some cases, the court may grant a limited divorce when an absolute divorce is sought.
If you need a Maryland Divorce Lawyer to help you with your divorce case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland divorce attorneys can help you. C