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Maryland Grounds for Divorce
An absolute divorce terminates the marriage, allows the parties to remarry, and enables a court having jurisdiction to determine property, support and parenting issues between the parties. Maryland recognizes the following grounds for such an absolute divorce:
In cases of separation and desertion, it must be shown that there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. A separation requires that the parties live separate and apart without cohabitation continuously for the relevant time period.
In addition to absolute divorce, Maryland law provides for a limited divorce, in essence a court sanctioned separation. In cases of limited divorce the parties remain married; however, the court may order spousal and child support payments and award the use and possession of the family home and contents. A limited divorce may be based upon voluntary separation of any length without any realistic expectation of reconciliation, cruelty, vicious conduct or desertion.
There may be additional requirements for either absolute or limited divorce, including residency, obtaining personal jurisdiction over the defendant, proof of the marriage and corroboration of testimony. The proof required for divorce in any particular case should be discussed with counsel.
Maryland Family Law recognizes eight different grounds for divorce. Adultery, voluntary separation (for at least 12 months), imprisonment (with a sentence of at least three years and at least 12 months already served), and living separate and apart (for at least two years), are among some of the reasons. For the court to grant a divorce based upon any of these grounds, they must be proved in court through evidence and testimony.
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