The most common type of divorce filing in Maryland is a no-fault divorce. In this type, the spouses are not blaming one another or are claiming no specific legal grounds for the divorce. In other cases, adultery is used as grounds for the divorce and must be proven.
When a spouse has evidence that the other is committing adultery, they may file for an absolute divorce based upon those grounds. The defending spouse has the right to contest the claim of adultery. This type of divorce can be a lengthy one, requiring testimony from witnesses and others regarding the alleged adultery.
Adultery, in Maryland family court, is defined as sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than the spouse. Proving adultery does not require an eye-witness account. There is no requirement of actual intercourse. The filing spouse only needs to show the judge that the alleged adulterer had a disposition and opportunity to commit adultery.
A person who is the victim of adultery may choose to file for divorce on these grounds because there is no waiting period for filing the complaint and the complaining spouse may receive a settlement that is in their favor. When a person has legal grounds for divorce, they do not have to be separated for a year prior to filing in family court.
If you are considering filing for a divorce in Columbia, you should seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can review your reasons for wanting a divorce and advise you how to proceed.