Unlike most other states, Maryland has two avenues to obtaining a divorce. A decree of absolute divorce releases both parties from their financial and marital partnership, effectively dissolving the marriage. A limited divorce is an interim step. Both parties remain joint owners of any marital property. They cannot remarry or have extramarital sexual relationships, which would constitute adultery. They are legally barred from living together or having marital relations.
There are several circumstances in which the courts may issue a limited divorce, including:
- Voluntary separation (both spouses agree to live apart for 12 months)
- Actual desertion, or abandonment (one spouse leaves the family)
- Constructive desertion (the behavior of one spouse forces the other to leave)
- Ordering spousal support or child support while both parties attempt to reach an acceptable settlement
- Advising spouses to try reconciling their differences
A limited divorce sets a clear date for establishing the 12-month separation that is grounds for an absolute divorce. It can also be valuable when financial support is necessary.
Deciding whether a limited or absolute divorce proceeding is best for you can depend on many factors. If you have questions, you need to speak with an experienced Towson MD divorce lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC in Hunt Valley, MD, who has worked with clients at the mediation table and in family court. Your attorney can advise you on the best way to move forward with your divorce in a timely, effective manner with the best result possible. Divorce is complex and an experienced guide is your best bet. Call us today at (443) 589-0150 or contact us online to arrange your consultation with one of our reputable Towson divorce lawyers.