The Divorce Process in Maryland
Couples in Maryland have various options with regard to the divorce process, including collaboration and litigation. To compare the advantages and disadvantages of several common dispute resolution processes, please see our Comparison of Dispute Resolution Processes. When possible, Mediation or a Collaborative Divorce are good solutions for parties who want to minimize the stressful antagonism of divorce by engaging in a mutually respectful process and avoiding court litigation.
Follow the link above for a list of frequently asked questions about divorce.
Grounds for Divorce in Maryland
There are two types of divorce in Maryland: Absolute Divorce and Limited Divorce.
An Absolute Divorce ends the marital relationship completely. There are seven grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland:
- Desertion for a period of 12 months,
- Cruelty of treatment towards one’s spouse or the minor child of the spouse, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation,
- Excessively Vicious Conduct towards one’s spouse or the minor child of the spouse, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation,
- Insanity where the insane spouse has been confined to a mental institution for three years prior to the filing of complaint for divorce,
- Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor in any court where the convicted spouse has been sentenced to serve at least 3 years in a penal institution and at the time of the filing for divorce has already served 12 months of the sentence, or
- One-year separation and no expectation of reconciliation.
- Mutual consent if there are no minor children between the parties, the parties submit a written settlement agreement to the court signed by both individuals that addresses alimony and distribution of property, and both parties appear at the divorce hearing.
A Limited Divorce grants a spouse the right to live separate from the other spouse, but does not end the legal marital relationship. Accordingly, spouses are not free to remarry upon the entry of a limited divorce. There are four grounds for a Limited Divorce in Maryland:
- Cruelty of treatment towards one’s spouse or the minor child of the spouse,
- Excessively Vicious Conduct towards one’s spouse or the minor child of the spouse,
- Desertion, or
- Separation of the parties for less than one year.
If you are considering a divorce in Maryland, call the divorce lawyers at Mohammadi & Humayun Legal Team at (301) 800-0880, fill out our online contact form. During your free initial telephone consultation, we will take the time to answer your questions and give you the advice you need to decide how to move forward.