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Baltimore County & Towson Divorce Lawyer | Grounds For Divorce | Desertion.

Establishing Desertion As Grounds for Divorce in Maryland 

The statutory term “desertion,” as ground for limited divorce, means a cessation of the marital relation that is unjustified. To constitute desertion, as ground for divorce, there must be three elements existing at the same time:

  • Termination of cohabitation, so that the parties are neither physically residing under the same roof nor having any kind of sexual relationship. 
  • The intention on the part of offending spouse to physically abandon the other spouse and to terminate the marital relationship. 
  • Lack of justification for leaving, meaning the spouse being left behind neither consented nor engaged in behavior that justified the leaving spouse's decision to go. 

Desertion is grounds for a limited divorce or an absolute divorce depending on the length of separation. If the time period is greater than one year, desertion is ground for an absolute divorce.  

Constructive Desertion: When the "Good Spouse" Leaves 

Unlike actual desertion, where it is the party deserted who has the cause for divorce, in instances of constructive desertion, it is the departing party who has the cause of action for divorce. Constructive desertion occurs when the departing spouse leaves to protect his or her health, safety or self-respect. The question of whether constructive desertion is established by the evidence is up to the judge and his/her discretion. The following things have been known to be constructive desertion in the past:

  • The leaving spouse has been the victim of cruelty.
  • The leaving spouse has been the victim of domestic violence.
  • The leaving spouse has attempted to engage in sexual relations with the staying spouse, who has refused to engage in marital relations.  

Call 410-321-4994 For a Free Consultation in Towson With Divorce & Custody Lawyer Amar S. Weisman.

Please Call (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The purpose of the consultation is to decide whether you want to hire Amar S. Weisman. To obtain legal services, you must pay a retainer, see Policy on Fees/Costs. The law firm is next to The Circuit Court For Baltimore County, at 305 Allegheny Avenue, Towson, MD, 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore area including Aberdeen. Abingdon, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Lutherville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Perry Hall, Rosedale, Sparrows Point, Timonium, Towson, Westminster and White Marsh.