People enter into a marriage full of hope and dreams. Unfortunately, many of those hopes and dreams fail to be fulfilled. When a marriage falls apart, the people involved are often filled with a wide range of emotions. They might not begin to consider all the legal ramifications involved with the divorce process. This is especially the case where there are substantial assets or when a couple has children.
If you are contemplating filing for divorce or have been served a divorce complaint from your spouse, you should contact our Glen Burnie, MD divorce attorney immediately. For over twenty years, the attorneys and staff of Rice, Murtha & Psoras have been assisting people facing this challenging hurdle in their life. By providing professional and compassionate representation, our office has worked to protect our clients’ rights while navigating this difficult process. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free, confidential appointment.
Limited and Absolute Divorce in Glen Burnie, MD
In Maryland, there are two types of divorces available – an absolute divorce and a limited divorce.
An absolute divorce is what people commonly think of divorce. It is the final dissolution of a marriage, including the division of marital property, alimony, and provisions for child custody and support. After an order granting an absolute divorce is entered, the parties are free to remarry if they desire.
Typically, an absolute requires that the parties maintain separate residences for twelve consecutive months, including no sexual relations or cohabitation during that period. In some situations, if a spouse can establish grounds for divorce, they could file without having to complete the twelve-month requirement.
There are cases where the parties are not able to obtain an absolute divorce. For example, one spouse cannot prove one of the required grounds for divorce or the parties have not lived separately for twelve months. Under these circumstances, a limited divorce is an option.
The significant difference between a limited divorce and an absolute divorce is that a limited divorce is not final. A limited divorce does not permit either spouse to remarry. Additionally, any property acquired after a limited divorce decree remains marital property and is subjected to be divided between both people. However, spousal support, child custody, and child support could be awarded in a limited divorce.
Should you file for a limited divorce and later satisfy the absolute divorce requirements, our Glen Burnie attorney can amend your divorce complaint.
Grounds for an Absolute Divorce in Glen Burnie
To be granted an absolute divorce for fault, a spouse must prove one of five elements.
First, adultery is grounds for divorce. To prove adultery, a person does not have to establish that sexual intercourse occurred – only that the other person had the disposition and opportunity to commit adultery.
Cruelty or excessively vicious conduct towards you or a minor child is also grounds for divorce. The conduct could only be one incident if there was a threat of bodily harm. In addition, the behavior could be mental cruelty. It is important to note that abusive language or rude behavior does not constitute cruelty or excessively vicious conduct for a divorce.
If your spouse leaves the marital home for twelve months without returning or interruption, they have deserted the marriage. Desertion is grounds for a divorce. In addition to vacating the marital home, there must be no chance of reconciliation.
Conviction of a misdemeanor or felony could also constitute grounds for a divorce. Your spouse must be convicted and sentenced for more than three years. After they have served twelve months, you are permitted to file for divorce.
Insanity is grounds for divorce if your spouse’s condition is permanent and incurable. Additionally, they must be confined to a mental hospital or institution for at least three years before you can file for divorce. To prove insanity, you will also need the testimony of two physicians, competent in psychiatric care, regarding the severity of your spouse’s condition.
No-Fault and Mutual Divorce in Glen Burnie, MD
In some cases, a marriage has deteriorated to the point where both parties know that it cannot be saved. Before filing for an absolute divorce, both parties must maintain separate households for twelve consecutive months. During that time, there must be no sexual relations or any cohabitation.
In some situations, the parties do not want to wait twelve months to finalize their divorce. Fortunately, Maryland offers a mutual divorce option. Unfortunately, a mutual divorce shifts all the burden and work required to resolve the issues presented in a divorce to the couple and away from the court. To qualify for a mutual divorce, both parties must present a signed settlement agreement to the court. This agreement needs to include provisions regarding property distribution, alimony, child custody, and child support. It is crucial to have our experienced Glen Burnie divorce attorney representing you and protecting your rights during this process. Our office will help ensure that the settlement agreement complies with all applicable Maryland laws and that your interests and rights are protected.
Call Our Glen Burnie, MD Divorce Attorney for a Free Consultation
Divorce is often coupled with intense emotional stress. It is also a legal process that can impact your life for years to come. If your rights are not protected, you could find yourself without the financial support you need or less time with your children than you deserve. Our Glen Burnie, MD divorce attorney has decades of experience representing people struggling through this challenging time. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or have been served divorce papers by your spouse, call our Maryland family law attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.