In Maryland, how does limited and absolute divorce differ?

In Maryland, how does limited and absolute divorce differ?

There are many reasons why a Maryland couple will want to get a divorce. There could be simple challenges that many couples face and cannot work through like incompatibility and the desire for change. Or it might escalate into infidelity and, worse, abusive behavior. It is important to understand certain aspects of the law when getting a divorce. A key factor is knowing the difference between a limited divorce and an absolute divorce.

How limited divorces compare with absolute divorces

A limited divorce will settle certain issues in the marriage, but it is not a divorce in the truest sense of the word in that the marriage is not yet legally over. The grounds for a limited divorce are if there was cruelty to the complainant or a minor child; the conduct on the part of the other spouse was considered excessively vicious; there was desertion; or the parties were living separately. There are no time constraints with a limited divorce. If the parties decide to reconcile, the limited divorce can be revoked.

For an absolute divorce, all aspects of the marriage including child custody and finances must be settled. This is not the case with a limited divorce. The grounds for an absolute divorce include adultery; desertion for 12 consecutive months and it is deliberate and final with no hope for reconciliation; a spouse’s felony or misdemeanor conviction of a crime with a sentence of at least three years’ incarceration and the person having served 12 months; a separation of 12 months; a spouse being declared insane; cruel treatment of the respondent inflicted on the complaining party; vicious conduct toward the complaining party; and by mutual consent if the sides can agree on property division, alimony and child custody.

Legal assistance can be beneficial with all types of divorce

When a couple is getting a divorce, it is important to understand the legal steps involved with the process. This is true if it is a difficult and dangerous situation in which a person is seeking a limited divorce and wants to move forward with an absolute divorce later, or if the landscape is such that an absolute divorce can be immediately sought. For child custody, visitation, alimony, property division and all other parts of a divorce, consulting with an experienced legal professional can provide guidance and advice.