A couple that intends to file for divorce in Maryland can choose either a limited or absolute divorce. Since both forms of divorce may differ in their execution and the grounds under which they may be authorized, it is important to understand their differences in order to decide what is best for your particular circumstances.
An absolute divorce can be filed after the parties involved have lived separately for at least one year and constitutes a complete legal dissolution of the marriage. All jointly-owned property may be subject to distribution in an absolute divorce case, including individual retirement accounts, pensions and other assets. An absolute divorce might be granted in cases where one of the parties involved has been convicted of a crime, committed adultery, acted cruelly or otherwise abusively toward the other party and on several other grounds.
In contrast, a limited divorce is granted in cases where some provocation for divorce exists, such as constructive desertion of cruel treatment, but the involved parties have not necessarily been living separately for a long period of time. Although it does not involve property distribution, a limited divorce does affect matters involving spousal and child support, and may be beneficial in cases where a party requires immediate resolution to an otherwise untenable domestic situation.
Given the differing factors involved in the process, someone seeking a divorce in Maryland may wish to discuss the matter with our attorneys before proceeding. It may be possible for you to construct a plan for your divorce that is consistent with the individual needs of your living situation. If you would like more information, our page about divorce in Maryland may be instructive.
Source: Law Office of Dawn M. Green "Annapolis Divorce Lawyers", October 10, 2014