Understanding Divorce Laws in Maryland

Understanding Divorce Laws in Maryland

If you've been considering getting a divorce, you may wish to consult a divorce lawyer serving Severn. Your divorce lawyer can help you understand the applicable Maryland laws, which recognize divorce as the dissolution of a civil contract. Your lawyer can also advise you as to which type of divorce you should seek. Maryland recognizes limited divorces and absolute divorces.

Types of Divorce

In Maryland, a limited divorce is a legally recognized separation. In other words, the individuals remain legally married and the court imposes certain rules for the separation. For example, the individuals live in separate residences and are not entitled to sexual relations with each other. In the event that sexual relations occur with another person, it is considered adultery. In addition, neither spouse may remarry while a limited divorce is in effect. A limited divorce may eventually lead to an absolute divorce, which is the dissolution of the marriage. After an absolute divorce, either party may remarry at will. Your divorce lawyer can help you determine whether you should file for an absolute or limited divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

If you have grounds for an absolute divorce, your divorce lawyer may recommend this type of filing. Grounds for an absolute divorce can include adultery, desertion, and cruelty. An absolute divorce may also be granted based on a separation of at least 12 months. By obtaining a limited divorce, you can establish a date of legal separation. However, during those 12 months, you cannot engage in sexual relations with your spouse or the absolute divorce may not be granted. If you choose to request a limited divorce, you must also prove certain grounds for divorce, in addition to other requirements such as residency requirements.

Information in Divorce Decrees

The information contained within a decree for an absolute divorce includes the determination of child custody, and the establishment of alimony and child support orders. The divorce decree spells out the division of property. If you jointly own property with your ex-spouse, it may be sold and the proceeds distributed between you and your ex-spouse. Likewise, a divorce decree for a limited divorce resolves matters pertaining to child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, possession of property, and health insurance coverage.