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What is a limited versus an absolute divorce in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | Divorce

The year 2020 was difficult for many people in Maryland, especially those in a troubled marriage. Sometimes things reach a tipping point where a marriage cannot be saved, and it is best for both parties if they divorce. Maryland recognizes two types of divorce: absolute divorce and limited divorce.

What is a limited divorce?

In a limited divorce, some but not all divorce legal issues may be settled. A limited divorce does not officially end a marriage. In a limited divorce, couples can address issues such as child custody or property division prior to being eligible for an absolute divorce.

The grounds for a limited divorce include desertion, cruelty and excessively vicious conduct and separation. It is important to note that there is no separate action called a “legal separation” in Maryland. If spouses live apart with the intention to divorce and do not engage in sexual intercourse while separated, this can be a ground for divorce, depending on the length of the separation.

What is an absolute divorce?

In an absolute divorce, all divorce legal issues, including property division, spousal support, child custody and child support, are settled. An absolute divorce legally ends a marriage, meaning that both parties are free to remarry if they wish once it is finalized.

The grounds for an absolute divorce include those for a limited divorce, along with adultery, imprisonment for a crime, insanity and mutual consent (no-fault). To obtain an absolute divorce on the grounds of mutual consent, both parties must execute a settlement agreement.

Learn more about divorce in Maryland

This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice for any specific situation. Those who want to learn more about divorce in Maryland can explore our firm’s website for further information.