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The grounds for divorce in Maryland

In Maryland, a couple can file for one of two different types of divorce. The first type of divorce is the limited divorce. This form does not permit either party to remarry and it makes no decisions regarding property division. The second type is an absolute divorce, which dissolves the marriage and allows for property division and for remarriage.

Grounds for a limited divorce include domestic abuse, desertion or when both parties no longer live together and there is no cohabitation. Grounds for an absolute divorce include adultery or when the parties are separated and meet certain conditions. Those conditions include being apart for 12 months or 12 months of separation without any hope of reconciliation. If one spouse is convicted of a crime in any state and he or she has been sentenced to three or more years, an absolutedivorce may occur if 12 months of the sentence have been served.

After two years of uninterrupted separation, an absolute divorce may be granted as long as there is no cohabitation. In any divorce case, all requirements for a specific ground must be met before filing for the divorce. In addition, there may be a residency requirement that must be met. Couples who choose to may create a voluntary separation agreement that will cover property separation issues before splitting.

Before filing for divorce, it may be a good idea to determine where there are sufficient grounds to do so. If there are not, the case may not acknowledged and the parties wishing to divorce may only separate. Anyone who is thinking about divorce may wish to talk to a family law attorney prior to filing. Regardless of any agreements made by the parents, a judge generally has finally say over child custody and other matters involving the best interest of the child.

Source: The Maryland State Bar Association , "Divorce and Separation", October 07, 2014

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