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When to Use a Limited Divorce in Maryland

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For most people, getting divorced is one of those things they just want to be done with. Divorce is costly, emotionally painful, and it can consume every waking hour of your day. The worry, the headache, and the emotional roller coaster can be enough to make even the most resilient person want to give up. Fortunately, there is hope. Getting divorced does not have to take a long time, and with the experienced assistance of a Maryland divorce lawyer, most people are able to efficiently and effectively navigate the process without much complication.

Absolute or Limited Divorce 

A big part of the time spent on a divorce will depend on what type of divorce decree you are seeking in the immediate short-term. Many states distinguish legal separation from divorce. In Maryland, however, there are two types of divorce. One is an absolute divorce, meaning that the parties will be considered divorced at the end of the proceeding. The other is a ‘limited divorce,’ after which the parties will still technically be married.  This is really nothing more than a court-ordered separation.

An absolute divorce takes longer, in most cases, than a limited divorce. But a limited divorce does not exactly give you any major short-term benefits. For instance, you still cannot begin having an extra-marital affair in a limited divorce, and your assets continue to accrue as marital property. That said, it does have certain uses.

Grounds vs. No-Fault 

If you are able to prove grounds for divorce, you do not have to wait. You can immediately file a petition for dissolution of the marriage, and proceed through the process of dissolving your marriage. Of course, it can be very difficult to prove grounds like adultery, desertion, or mental ‘insanity.’ And it’s rare for the other spouse to voluntarily admit to wrongdoing, as it can negatively affect other aspects of the case. Thus, a lot of people have to file what is known as a “no-fault” divorce. In a no-fault divorce, Maryland imposes a 12-month waiting period before the divorce can be finalized.

Limited Divorce as a Means to an End 

Limited divorce is not right for everyone. But if you and your spouse are living apart and cannot work out the details of alimony, child support, or other matters, then it may be worth considering. Likewise, if you cannot prove grounds, a limited divorce may help you begin the 12-month countdown to an absolute divorce. Sometimes a spouse will remove the other from employer-sponsored health insurance plans or threaten to move children out of state.

Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons why you and your attorney may decide to move forward with a limited divorce in order to push the case forward, especially in absence of provable grounds for an absolute divorce.

Hiring a Maryland Divorce Lawyer

With offices in Glen Burnie and Columbia, the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. represents individuals in contested and uncontested divorces. If you need help moving your case forward, call our office to learn more about what we might be able to do to help you get closure and finalize your divorce faster.

Resource:

mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gfl&section=7-103&ext=html&session=2017RS&tab=subject5

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