Grounds for Divorce

In many states, there are no longer grounds for divorce. In other words, a couple can petition for divorce, and have that divorce granted, without stating a reason as to why they are seeking to separate. Maryland is not one of these states. If you want a divorce in Maryland, you will have to decide if you want one based on fault or no-fault grounds.

A final divorce in Maryland is called an absolute divorce. To be granted this type of divorce, a couple must meet certain legal grounds. If there is no-fault, the couple must have been living apart for no less than one year. In some cases, spouses will file first for a limited divorce in order for the purposes of temporary support and securing a court date for an absolute divorce.

Fault grounds in the state include insanity, desertion, adultery, cruelty, excessively vicious conduct and the conviction of certain crimes. The various grounds for divorce are proven in different ways, making an attorney essential in the filing of an at-fault divorce.

For example, cruelty and excessively vicious conduct include mental and physical abuse. Calls to local law enforcement officials, criminal cases and arrests may be enough to prove that one spouse is at fault in these situations. The other spouse, or the victim, would be granted an absolute divorce based upon these grounds.

Divorce laws in Columbia and throughout Maryland are complex. If you are considering filing for a divorce, reach out to an experienced family law attorney for assistance.