Nearly every couple that says, “I do,” means it. However, life does not always go according to plan. Some marriages are broken from day one, while others deteriorate over time. No matter the cause, if your marriage is crumbling and you are considering divorce, you need competent legal representation. Our Towson, MD divorce attorneys provide compassionate, professional, and aggressive representation for our clients.
Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster. When dealing with the grief or anger accompanying a dissolving marriage, you need someone protecting your legal rights. The attorneys and staff at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have been providing sympathetic legal representation to our divorcing clients for decades. If you are considering divorce, or have been served divorce papers, call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
No-Fault Divorce and Fault Divorce in Townson, MD
In Towson, a marriage could be dissolved based on two types of grounds – a “no-fault” divorce and a divorce based on the conduct, or “fault,” of the other spouse. There are some distinctions between the two in how it could impact your specific case. For example, when a Townson court determines alimony, fault is one of the factors it will consider. Fault could also affect the division of marital property.
Typically, fault does not come into play when questions regarding child custody are resolved. However, if the fault grounds included any harmful or abusive conduct towards the children, a court will weigh it heavily when making a determination.
If you are going to be granted a divorce based on fault grounds, you must be able to prove your spouse acted in a certain way to the court’s satisfaction. This can be challenging, depending on the grounds claimed. Our experienced Towson divorce attorney understands the difficulty in proving fault and has the knowledge and resources to gather evidence on your behalf.
You could obtain a no-fault divorce without needing to prove any malicious or harmful conduct on the part of your spouse by filing for divorce after residing in a separate household for twelve consecutive months. During this period, there can be no sexual relations or living together.
Grounds for a Fault Divorce in Towson, Maryland
There are five grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland other than voluntary separation.
There is no waiting period to file for divorce if the grounds are adultery. If you can prove your spouse has committed adultery, a Towson court can grant your divorce immediately. It is important to note that you do not have to confirm that your spouse engaged in intercourse. However, our Towson divorce attorney would have to establish that your spouse had the opportunity and disposition to commit adultery. For example, outward affection between your spouse and another person could be construed as a disposition for committing adultery. Likewise, entering the apartment building of another person at 11:00 in the evening and not leaving until the morning could be used to demonstrate opportunity. Any allegations must be corroborated with evidence, such as photographs, text messages, or emails.
Typically, desertion occurs when a spouse abandons the marital how without cause or justification. To receive a divorce based on the grounds of desertion, you would have to establish all the following elements.
- It continued for twelve consecutive months
- Sexual intercourse ceased
- Your spouse intends to end the marriage
- There is no chance of reconciliation
- The desertion occurred without consent
Cruelty and Excessive Vicious Conduct
If your spouse’s behavior is cruel or excessively vicious and endangers the health or life of you or a minor child, it is grounds for divorce. The conduct does not have to be a pattern – one act of cruelty can be grounds if there is an intent to cause bodily harm.
Cruelty is not always physical; it could include mental cruelty. To establish mental cruelty, you must demonstrate that your spouse intended to destroy your happiness or impair your mental well-being.
Abusive language, rudeness, or neglect does not constitute cruelty for the purposes of divorce in Maryland.
Conviction of a Crime
If your spouse is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, it might constitute grounds for a divorce. Three requirements must be met. First, your spouse must be convicted, not just charged or arrested. They also must be sentenced to over three years. Finally, you will have to wait until they served twelve months of their sentence before filing for divorce.
In Towson, incurable and permanent insanity is grounds for divorce. To establish insanity, our office will have to prove that your spouse was confined to a mental institution for three years before filing for divorce. Additionally, at least two certified psychiatrists will have to testify that your spouse’s condition is permanent and incurable. Finally, you or your spouse must have been a Maryland resident for at least two years before filing for divorce.
Mutual Divorce in Towson
If your marriage is coming to an inevitable end, Maryland has another option instead of attempting to prove fault or maintain separate households for one year. If the parties agree, a mutual divorce is available in Towson. The critical thing to understand about mutual divorce is that it shifts the work to the divorcing couple. You will have to present a settlement agreement regarding the distribution of marital property, alimony, child custody, and child support to the court. It is essential to have our experienced Towson divorce attorney representing you during this process. By having our office at your side, you can ensure your rights and interests are protected.
Call Our Towson, MD Divorce Attorney for a Free Consultation
No one wants to go through a divorce. However, in some cases, it is absolutely necessary. If you are considering a divorce or if your spouse is divorcing you, you want to ensure your legal rights are protected. The Towson, MD divorce attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have been providing Towson residents experienced representation for decades. To understand your options and rights, call our Maryland family lawyers (410) 694-7291 and schedule a free, confidential appointment.