Understanding grounds for divorce under state law

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Divorce on Thursday, August 14, 2014.

In Maryland, getting started with a divorce filing isn't always as simple as just filling out some paperwork. Maryland law requires a married couple to meet certain qualifications before an absolute divorce can be granted, so it helps to know what grounds qualify a person to file for divorce before getting started.

According to Maryland law, there are several ways a person can justify seeking an absolute divorce, meaning that a spouse can divorce their partner even if the partner objects. One way is for the couple to have been separated for the requisite period of time. A person must have either lived separately from their spouse for at least two years, and during this time the spouses must not have either had sexual intercourse or even spent a night together under the same roof.

Under more extreme or troublesome circumstances, such as adultery, abuse or desertion, a person may be entitled to use these as grounds for an absolute divorce. A spouse whose partner is declared insane or is convicted of a felony may also have sufficient grounds to seek a divorce.

If neither party objects to the divorce, the grounds for granting an uncontested divorce may be more lenient, but there are still length of separation requirements that come into play. Grounds can be established if the couple has lived separately for at least one year so long as they have both done so with the intent to end the marriage.

The grounds for an uncontested divorce may be simpler to prove than those for a contested divorce, but even once the grounds for divorce are settled, there are still many other important issues that must be considered. Among the most important are property division, alimony, child custody and child support. People facing these issues in an absolute or uncontested divorce should always have the help of an experienced Maryland family law attorney.

Source: http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/forms/divorce.pdf, accessed August 8, 2014