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What is Limited Divorce in Maryland?

Unlike absolute divorce, limited divorce doesn’t dissolve a marriage.

It is supervised by the court and is generally designated for individuals who do not have grounds for absolute divorce. In this situation the divorce is not permanent and it’s always best to consult with an experienced attorney who can explain the differences and help you get the relief you need. There are a few grounds a court will grant a limited divorce.

Unlike an absolute divorce, there is only one no-fault ground which is separation for less than one year. The fault grounds include:

  • excessively vicious conduct to spouse or child,
  • extreme cruelty to spouse or child,
  • or desertion for less than 12 months.

In order to obtain a limited divorce in Maryland, you must meet residency requirements, grounds and other legally prescribed laws that your lawyer can explain to you. If you are seeking an absolute divorce, you may still be granted a limited divorce. Additionally, the courts may revoke the divorce at any time the parties jointly apply to be discharged.

During this limited divorce, the parties live apart and although they remain legally married, they cannot have sexual relations with each other without having to restart the time requirements for getting an absolute divorce. Additionally neither spouse may remarry or have sexual relations with another party as it’s considered adultery in the state of Maryland.

Although the most common reason for a limited divorce as opposed to absolute divorce is due to a couple’s inability to meet the grounds for an absolute divorce, there are still other reasons that can contribute to the decision.

For instance, if the couple is unable to settle their differences privately.

During the time of a limited divorce, the court will make temporary decisions about custody, child support, alimony, use and possession of property that could be difficult for the couple to decide on their own.

Divorce is a difficult and complicated procedure. It’s always best to contact an experienced Maryland divorce attorney who can explain all the nuances to you and which one you qualify for.