Garner & Garner, P.A. Articles Maryland’s No-Fault Divorce

Maryland’s No-Fault Divorce

By Garner & Garner, P.A.  Aug. 26, 2013 4:25p

The state of Maryland uses the term "absolute divorce" which is a legal term which means a final divorce. This can be accomplished through a fault-based or no-fault divorce process. In Maryland, fault-based divorces are granted on the grounds of a) adultery b) abandonment or desertion by one spouse of the other that has lasted for at least one year c) cruelty, such as domestic violence against a spouse or minor child d) excessively vicious conduct towards a spouse or minor child e) conviction of certain criminal offenses resulting in a prison sentence of at least three years f) insanity leading to at least three years confinement in a mental hospital. A fault-based divorce does not require any specific time period of separation of the spouses.

Oftentimes, a divorce is sought not because of any "grounds," but simply because the parties have fundamental differences or have drifted apart. This can then lead to a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce can be accomplished with a one-year separation of the spouses during which time they live separate and apart without engaging in sexual relations. This must be an uninterrupted time period. This requirement went into effect on October 1, 2011. The former rule for a no-fault divorce required that the separation be mutual and voluntary. If it was not mutual and voluntary by both spouses, then the separation period had to be extended to two years. The new law eliminated the mutual and voluntary requirement which simplified the no-fault divorce process.

Divorce Law Firm in Columbia, Maryland

Divorce can be a confusing and stressful experience, especially in cases where the parties have children and financial matters which need to be sorted out and arranged. Going through the process of divorce often requires those involved make many decisions about how these matters will be resolved. Getting proper legal advice on such issues as child custody and visitation, spousal support, and the division of marital property and debts is essential. The decisions you make during your divorce can have a long-range impact on your life for years to come.

Garner & Garner, P.A. is a divorce and family law firm serving clients in the Columbia area. It has been assisting individuals and families with all types of family law issues since 1985. The legal team has 44 years of combined experience in resolving divorce, child custody, domestic violence, legal separation, paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, property division, parental relocation, enforcement and modification of court orders, and more. The firm offers a free consultation to help you learn more about your particular legal matter. Contact the firm to schedule your consultation so that you can get the experienced and skilled legal advice and guidance you need today.

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