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What is a Limited Divorce in Maryland?
A limited divorce is a divorce from bed and board. It grants spouses the right to live separate and apart from one another, although they remain as husband and wife and cannot remarry.
A limited divorce may be sought when spouses do not have grounds for an absolute divorce (which terminates the marriage). Filing for a limited divorce will allow the Court to decide custody, support, use and possession of the home and personal property, to resolve disputes regarding ownership of personal property or order the sale of jointly owned personal property.
However, under a limited divorce, the Court cannot equitably divide the parties' marital property or order the sale of jointly owned real property, such as the family home.
Although spouses cannot remarry under a limited divorce, for tax purposes, spouses granted a limited divorce may file as single taxpayers.
Maryland law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.
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