Maryland, like all other states in the country, offers divorces on both fault and no-fault grounds. If you wish to file for a fault-based divorce, you will need to present sufficient evidence to support your claim. Continue reading to learn more about filing for fault-based divorce in Maryland. If you are unable to prove a fault-based ground, then you likely will only qualify for a limited divorce, which is similar to a legal separation.
Limited vs. Absolute Divorce
Below are the grounds for filing a limited divorce in Maryland:
- Separation for any period of time
- Actual Desertion for any period of time
- Constructive Desertion for any period of time – this might be a ground for a limited divorce even if you and your spouse are still residing together
Below are the grounds for filing an absolute divorce in Maryland:
- Cruelty of treatment or vicious conduct
- Desertion – actual or constructive (12 months or longer; although you may not qualify if you still live together)
- One-year separation
- Mutual Consent – this requires a written agreement that resolves all issues (depending on the judicial officer, you may qualify even if you still live together)
- Conviction of a crime – If your spouse has been sentenced to at least a three year sentence and already served 12 months of that sentence
- Insanity – Only under certain narrow circumstances
In Maryland, an absolute divorce will effectively dissolve your marriage, which will allow both parties the chance to remarry and divide marital property. With a limited divorce, you are still married and the court has limited power to make final determinations as to marital property.
Proving grounds for divorce can be a difficult and complex process, so it is crucial to hire an attorney with experience in handling such cases. For example, if you are trying to prove adultery as grounds for divorce, you will not have to prove sexual intercourse took place. However, you will need to prove that your spouse had the opportunity and disposition to do so, which may require significant evidence and likely evidentiary corroboration.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Legal Team for the Skilled Representation You Need
If you wish to file for divorce in Maryland, you need to hire an experienced legal professional to represent your case and guide you through the process. At Matthew Penick Law, our family law attorney is backed by more than a decade of experience and a history of successful results. We know how challenging it can be to navigate this type of divorce and will provide the strong legal support and personalized advice you need to overcome any obstacles you may face.
Call our law office today at (410) 618-0863 to set up an initial consultation with our knowledgeable divorce attorney and learn more about your legal options.