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Divorce is changing in the state of Maryland

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Divorce |

For better or worse, the divorce rate is rather high in the state of Maryland. However, one thing Maryland residents should keep in mind is that the laws regarding divorce are changing in 2023. If you are entering into a divorce proceeding or considering divorce, you should learn about these changes. They could have a big impact on your own divorce.

The previous Maryland divorce options

Before these laws were enacted, there were actually two kinds of divorce in the state of Maryland. This included absolute divorce and limited divorce. Absolute divorce is what people normally think of divorce in regards to most other states. It is a complete dissolution of the marriage between two people.

Limited divorce, however, was very different. Instead, the marriage continued in a limited fashion. This allowed a couple to address the court regarding issues related to things like child custody and alimony without having all assets redistributed. It was based on a more antiquated notion of couples who needed a legal separation but were not sure about ending the marriage entirely.

2023 changes to Maryland divorce

However, limited divorce will no longer exist in Maryland in 2023. The law was changed by the General Assembly, and that law will go into effect starting in October. The standards for obtaining an absolute divorce have also been changed and significantly lessened by the legislature. The new grounds for divorce include:

  • a six-month separation
  • irreconcilable differences
  • the lack of mental ability of one party to make decisions
  • mutual consent

Proving these grounds for divorce is significantly easier than the standards that were used previously before limited divorce was removed from Maryland’s legal code. This still leaves the question of what will happen to those who are still in a limited divorce after October. The likely answer is that getting out of the marriage will now be much easier for those couples who wish to do so.


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