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8 Acceptable Reasons To File For Absolute Divorce In Maryland

Infidelity

Maryland family law provides for two different types of divorce  “limited” and “absolute”. Limited divorce is temporary; the spouses can reconcile their differences and remain married. On the other hand, absolute divorce is permanent; there is no going back.

The requirements for absolute divorce appear under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 7-103. This section provides eight acceptable reasons (referred to legally as Agrounds@) for which a person may file for absolute divorce in Maryland.

  1. Adultery

If one spouse engages in sexual relations with someone outside of the marriage, the other spouse may file for absolute divorce in Maryland.

  1. Desertion

If one spouse deserts or abandons the marriage, the other spouse may file for absolute divorce in Maryland. But this ability only exists if:

  • The desertion continues for at least 12 continuous months;
  • The desertion is deliberate and final; and
  • There is no reasonable hope of reconciliation.
  1. Conviction

If one spouse is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense, the other spouse may file for absolute divorce in Maryland if:

  • The conviction carries a sentence of at least three years; and
  • The convicted spouse has already served at least 12 months of the sentence.
  1. Separation

If a married couple decides to separate, they can file for absolute divorce in Maryland if:

  • The spouses live separate and apart from each other; and
  • The separation has already lasted at least 12 months.
  1. Insanity

If one spouse suffers from insanity and is confined, the other spouse may file for absolute divorce in Maryland if:

  • The insane spouse has been confined in a mental institution, hospital, or similar environment for at least three years;
  • At least two competent physicians declare that the insanity is incurable and without any hope of recovery; and
  • Either spouse has lived in Maryland for at least two years.
  1. Cruel Treatment

If one spouse engages in cruel treatment against the other spouse (or their minor child) the mistreated spouse may file for absolute divorce in Maryland. But this ability only exists if there is no reasonable hope of reconciliation.

  1. Vicious Conduct

If one spouse engages in excessively vicious conduct against the other spouse (or their minor child) the mistreated spouse may file for absolute divorce in Maryland. But this ability only exists if there is no reasonable hope of reconciliation.

  1. Mutual Consent

If both spouses agree to end their marriage, they can file for absolute divorce in Maryland. In order to do so, the spouses must execute a marital settlement agreement that resolves any dispute with respect to:

  • Alimony;
  • Property Division; and
  • Child custody, support, care, and access.

If the spouses have minor or dependent children together, the Maryland courts must review and approve the marital settlement agreement. The state courts must ensure that the agreement satisfies the best interests of any and all children involved.

Do You Need Legal Help? 

For help with your case, reach out to Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered. Our Bel Air divorce attorneys can provide you with an initial case consultation.

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