The state of Maryland recognizes two types of divorce, limited and absolute. While a limited divorce is not permanent, an absolute divorce is permanent. The parties are free to remarry and all claims to property are terminated. At this time, the judgment may provide for sole or joint custody of the children, payment of alimony and child support and the disposition of personal property. The court will also make a decision regarding distribution of property and assets, custody of children, alimony payments and sale or jointly held property and proceeds. The spouse may also ask the court to order that she resume her birth name.
In order to obtain an absolute divorce, the filing spouse must prove that at least one ground for absolute divorce exists. There are eight grounds and at least one must be proven as taken from Maryland Divorce Law § 7-103 Fam. Law:
Sometimes in the case of fault divorces such as adultery, desertion, cruelty or excessively vicious conduct, the offending spouse may argue the defenses of condonation and recrimination. These are not an absolute bar to the divorce; however, the court may consider them when determining whether to award the absolute divorce.
Condonation is not an absolute bar to a decree of an absolute divorce on the ground of adultery, but is a factor to be considered by the court in determining whether the divorce should be decreed.
Recrimination is when the offending spouse claims that the filing spouse also engaged in behavior rising to the level of a fault ground as detailed in one thru eight.
Sometimes in the case of no-fault grounds for absolute divorce, a spouse may claim that the two either cohabitated or engaged in sexual intercourse during the separation, or also that the two never intended to dissolve the marriage. A spouse may also allege in the case of voluntary separation that the parties never agreed to the separation.
Divorce is a difficult and emotional situation. While it is always best to attempt to resolve marital problems between the spouses, this is not always possible. If this is your situation, it is important that you contact a legal expert knowledgeable with the laws of the state you reside in as soon as possible so that your best interests may be handled.
Every legal problem is unique, and your specific legal questions can only be properly answered during a thorough consultation about your case. We are always glad to provide a free consultation via phone call, office visit, or E-mail.
We have two main offices, one in Howard County in the center of Washington and Baltimore and the other in the Glen Burnie portion of Anne Arundel County. We also have various offices around the state where we are willing to meet with you to discuss your case.