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Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

Towson divorce lawyers guide clients through every step of the divorce process in MD.When it comes to divorce, every state has legal requirements. If you are seeking a divorce in the state of Maryland, you will need to show the courts you have a justifiable reason or grounds to end your marriage. You can choose to base your divorce on fault or no-fault grounds. To help determine the best option for you, the following provides insight into different grounds for divorce in the state of Maryland. To file for divorce, you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 12 months. Once all other legal requirements are satisfied, there is no additional waiting period before your divorce is final.

You can file for fault divorce in Maryland on the following grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Conviction of certain crimes
  • Cruelty
  • Desertion for more than 12 months
  • Excessively vicious conduct
  • Insanity

You can also file for no fault divorce in Maryland based either on a 1 year separation or mutual consent. For a one year separation, the parties must have been living separate and apart for at least one year without sexual relations. For mutual consent, the parties must have executed a settlement agreement resolving all issues related to marriage including marital property and their children.


To prove adultery when filing for a fault divorce, you can use the testimony of eye witnesses or circumstantial evidence. You do not necessarily have to catch your spouse in the act, but you do need to prove they had the inclination and opportunity to have an affair.


Desertion can be used as grounds for a fault divorce when your spouse has been gone for at least 12 months without interruption before you filed for divorce. They must have left you deliberately and without any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. In some cases, one spouse’s behavior is so detrimental to the other, the spouse on the receiving end of the abuse or neglect is justified in deserting the marriage. In that situation, the leaving spouse is not considered to be at fault for desertion because their spouse threatens their health or safety.

Cruelty and Excessively Vicious Conduct

Both physical and mental abuse can be considered cruelty in Maryland family court. Sometimes, more subtle types of destructive and unhealthy conduct also constitute cruelty or excessively vicious behavior, including threats of violence, manipulative and controlling behavior, and isolation of the victimized spouse from family and friends.

Towson, MD Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Guide Clients Through Every Step of the Divorce Process

Before filing for divorce in Maryland, it is incredibly important to understand your options and take the best legal course of action for you and your children. The Towson, MD divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC have experienced nearly every possible divorce scenario and will explain your options and guide you toward the next best step toward ending your marriage. Call 443-589-0150 or contact us online to schedule a free, initial consultation if you are contemplating filing for divorce. With offices in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland, we represent clients throughout the state.

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