Absolute Divorce or Limited Divorce?

There are two different kinds of divorces in Maryland. An Absolute Divorce is the only way in Maryland in which you can dissolve a marriage. A Limited Divorce does not end a marriage; it will only resolve issues of property. A Limited Divorce is useful when the parties do not yet have grounds to file for an Absolute Divorce, but want to divide the parties’ property between them or establish Court-ordered child support for the benefit of their minor children.

There are many grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland. You can file based on fault grounds or no-fault grounds. Below is a brief summary of fault and no fault grounds in Maryland.

Fault Grounds:

  • Adultery – when one spouse engages in a sexual relationship with someone that is not his or her spouse and the non-offending spouse does not condone the conduct
  • Insanity – this requires that a person be confined to a mental institution or hospital for at least 3 years before filing for divorce
  • Desertion – one spouse abandons the marital home without justification
  • Cruelty or Excessively Vicious Conduct – occurs when one spouse’s conduct endangers the life, health or safety of the other spouse or their minor child, and it would be unsafe to continue to cohabitate.
  • Conviction of a Crime – requires that one be convicted of a crime and has received a jail sentence of at least 3 years and has already served a year of that sentence.

No Fault Grounds:

  • 12-month separation – requires the parties have been living separate and apart for a period of 12 months or more
  • Mutual Consent – requires that the parties mutually agree to obtain a divorce and that they have signed a Marital Settlement Agreement. There is no waiting period for this kind of ground for divorce.

If you are interested in learning more about divorce, and which kind is right for you, contact us for a free consultation at (888) 585-7979 or submit a form on our website.