Divorce is never easy. Ending a marriage involves many different emotions. It could also be a legal nightmare if you lack proper representation and advice. In most cases, dissolving a marriage includes much more than just separating from your spouse. You might have to prove a reason for the divorce to a court. You also will have other issues to contend with, such as the division of property, alimony, child custody, and child support.
Our Rockville, MD divorce attorney has helped people navigate the complicated issues surrounding divorce for over two decades. By offering professional and compassionate representation, Rice, Murtha & Psoras seek to make this challenging period as easy as possible. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Divorce in Rockville, MD
People in Rockville might not know that under Maryland law, there are two types of divorce. Typically, divorce is thought of as a complete dissolution of a couple’s marriage. In Maryland, this is known as an absolute divorce.
However, there is another type, called a limited divorce. A limited divorce is what many people would consider a legal separation. If you received a limited divorce in Rockville, you remain legally married while you live apart from your spouse. This means that you are not legally permitted to remarry. However, the court will resolve child custody issues, child support, alimony, and who retains possession of the marital home. Marital property will not be divided by the court without a written agreement between the parties.
Generally, someone filing for a divorce will want an absolute divorce that allows them to move forward with their lives. However, there are situations where a limited divorce might be necessary. For example, you might not have established the grounds for an absolute divorce but want a legal separation that also awards child custody or spousal support. Below, the grounds for an absolute divorce will be considered in more detail.
Absolute Divorce in Rockville, MD
When you file for an absolute divorce, you are required to establish your reasons, or grounds, to the court’s satisfaction. There are specific statutory grounds under Maryland law that allow a person to dissolve a marriage.
You are permitted to file for an absolute divorce if both parties have lived separately for 12 months without interruption. This separation includes no overnights with each other and no sexual relations. By remaining separate, you are not required to prove and of the grounds that follow.
If your spouse had sexual relations with another person, you are entitled to file for divorce. You are not required to prove that intercourse took place – only that your spouse had the opportunity and disposition to commit adultery. Our Rockville divorce attorney could prove this with witness testimony, text messages, or emails.
Cruel of Excessively Harsh Conduct
If your spouse has treated you or your minor child in a cruel or abusive manner, it could be grounds for a divorce. The behavior does not have to be a pattern and could be one incident if there was an intention to harm you or the child. Mental cruelty is also a reason for divorce.
Abandonment or Desertion
Desertion occurs when your spouse vacates your marital home with an intent to end the marriage. To be a valid reason, leaving the property must have been without your consent and last for at least 12 consecutive months.
If your spouse is convicted and sentenced for a felony or misdemeanor, you could be permitted to file for an absolute divorce. The sentence must be at least three years and your spouse must have served one year before may file for divorce.
If two medical doctors, competent in psychiatry, testify that your spouse is incurably insane and your spouse has been confined to a hospital or mental institution for three years, you are allowed to file for a divorce.
Related Divorce Issues in Rockville, MD Our Attorneys Can Handle
Every divorce is unique, but some common issues tend to pose a source of contention. Our Rockville divorce attorney will assist you in finding resolutions to the legal issues associated with most marriage dissolutions.
Alimony, or spousal support, is awarded to one spouse. The factors a court will consider include the length of the marriage, the ability to be self-sufficient, and the age and health of each spouse. Alimony is typically temporary, though in some rare cases, it could be awarded indefinitely.
Depending on various factors, the court will award either joint or sole custody of the children of the marriage. In Maryland, there are two distinct types of custody. Legal custody permits the parent to make significant life decisions, including medical, educational, and religious, on behalf of the child. If the parents share joint legal custody, they will have to make these decisions together. Physical custody refers to where the child resides and the ability to make everyday decisions for the child. Similar to legal custody, physical custody might be sole or joint, depending on the circumstances of the case.
When minor children are part of a divorce, a Rockville court may require one spouse to provide financial assistance to the other. This assistance ensures the child can continue to live in a similar lifestyle as they had during the marriage.
Call Our Rockville, MD Divorce Attorney for a Free Consolation
Divorce is often difficult. While people will have the emotional support of friends and family members, it is essential also to have experienced legal assistance. Our Rockville, MD divorce attorney has been dedicated to providing quality representation for over twenty years. If you are considering filing for a divorce, or have your spouse is divorcing you, call our Maryland family law attorney at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment to discuss your legal rights and options.