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What are the Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?

Lebovitz Law LLC June 9, 2022

Divorce FilesDivorce can be a difficult experience, and it’s important to have a complete understanding of the process before you initiate it. Maryland accommodates couples seeking a permanent split, but they must provide proper grounds for the divorce first. There are two types of grounds that can be claimed for divorce in Maryland: no-fault vs. fault. Grounds based on “fault” refer to a divorce where one spouse is at fault. 

To prove that your spouse is at fault, grounds must include:

  • Adultery

  • Desertion

  • Imprisonment for a crime

  • Insanity

  • Cruel treatment and/or vicious conduct

You must be able to prove this behavior in a court of law. It’s also important to note that both alimony and custody could be affected by at-fault grounds. 

A no-fault divorce, on the other hand, does not have to be proven. However, both parties must separate for 1 year or agree to the divorce mutually. For divorce by mutual consent, the parties must have a marital settlement agreement that resolves all issues of division of marital property, a parenting plan for any minor children, and resolved alimony and pension/retirement.  When there is mutual consent, the parties do not need to be separated for any period of time prior to filing the complaint. However, in their agreement, they must address how they plan on separating in the future. For example, one spouse would move out of the marital residence by a certain date or when the lease expires, etc. For any divorce in Maryland, you want to have the attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC on your side. Our experienced lawyers will ensure you achieve the outcome you want and provide helpful guidance along the way. Visit our website to read more about divorce in Maryland or contact us today to schedule a consultation.  

Grounds for Limited Divorce

In addition to understanding fault vs. no fault grounds, it’s crucial to know the difference between limited and absolute divorce. A limited divorce in Maryland is essentially a legal separation, and it does not represent the end of a marriage. However, it does mean the individuals will no longer be living together or having sexual relations. If one spouse has sexual relations with someone else during a limited divorce, that is considered adultery. A limited divorce in Maryland can go on indefinitely, be revoked, or evolve into an absolute divorce. 

Grounds for a limited divorce are as follows:

  • Mutual decision to separate

  • Desertion

  • Harsh behavior towards other party (or a child) 

Grounds for Absolute Divorce 

If you obtain an absolute divorce, this means that you are no longer married. Both individuals can marry again and go on with their separate lives in this case. An absolute divorce case may also involve the discussion of child support, alimony, name changes and division of property. To qualify for an absolute divorce, one the following must be proven:

  • Desertion (1 year or more)

  • Harsh behavior or conduct

  • A 1-year separation

  • Criminal conviction

  • Insanity

  • Adultery 

Are There Any Issues that Can Arise When Claiming Grounds for Divorce in Maryland? 

Proving grounds for divorce isn’t always easy. As an example, let's say your spouse has acted cruelly towards you. You may have to provide witnesses and other tangible evidence to prove that your statements are true. If you don’t have any evidence and it is simply a he-said, she-said situation, that makes for a complex and challenging divorce process. More than likely, your spouse will also hire a lawyer to refute your claims. 

Many couples agree to an amiable divorce at the beginning, but the relationship continues to deteriorate. Things can get out of hand quickly when emotions are running high. That’s why we advise you to select an attorney that will look out for your best interests. The experienced attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can make your divorce in Maryland as simple and stress-free as possible.

Have Questions about Divorce in Maryland? The Attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC Can Help 

Whether you are searching for an experienced lawyer to assist with your divorce, negotiating child support in Maryland or other issues, the attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today at (410) 657-6494.