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7 Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

Person signing paper. Two wedding rings rest on the paperNo couple wants to consider the possibility of divorce before tying the knot, and deciding to end a marriage is a very big decision. While we often think of marriage as a romantic and spiritual endeavor, it is also a legal decision. As a result, you and your spouse will need to show the court why you want to be divorced. The reasons behind your divorce are known as grounds for divorce. Your grounds for divorce in Maryland should fit within one of the categories laid out in the divorce laws.

7 Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

  1. Excessively Vicious Conduct or Cruelty: These are two separate grounds for divorce legally, but both involve spouses who are engaging in mental or physical abuse. This abuse can be directed at the spouse or at a child and could include things like domestic violence, threats, verbal abuse and other types of controlling and cruel behavior.
  2. Permanent and Incurable Insanity: This grounds for divorce in Maryland is used when a spouse has permanent and incurable insanity, which typically requires confinement in a mental institution and doctor testimony to substantiate the case.
  3. Desertion: When one spouse leaves the marriage without previously getting the consent of the other spouse and is away for at least a calendar year, the grounds for divorce in Maryland could be desertion. If you plan on using desertion as your grounds for divorce, you must demonstrate that you didn’t provoke the other spouse to leave, that the desertion was a deliberate and final act and that there is no resolution possible.
  4. Criminal Conviction: If a spouse commits a crime and is sentenced to three or more years, you can use the conviction as grounds for divorce in Maryland after they have served 12 months.
  5. Adultery: Voluntary sexual relations between one spouse and a third party outside of the marriage is adultery. Substantiating adultery claims can be difficult unless you directly witnessed the actions, so instead Maryland asks the spouse to prove opportunity and disposition. In short, this means showing that your spouse is romantically engaged with someone else and there was the opportunity to spend time alone together.
  6. Voluntary Separation: Voluntary separation happens whenever you and your spouse live apart without cohabitation for a year or more, and a 12-month separation is considered a “no fault” grounds for divorce.
  7. Mutual Consent: Mutual consent is a new grounds for divorce in Maryland, and it is “no fault” and requires no waiting period providing that both parties consent to the divorce.

Do You Have Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?

If you are exploring your options for divorce and unsure which grounds for divorce in Maryland could be appropriate for your situation, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.

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