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Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Obtaining An Absolute Divorce In Maryland

Written by Amar Weisman » May 2, 2014 »

Prior to filing for divorce in Maryland, parting spouses will first need to have a justifiable reason (or "ground") for ending the union. If a spouse is seeking an absolute divorce, he or she will have to demonstrate that at least one valid reason or ground exists. That said, any spouse who is contemplating divorce should consult a Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer in order to determine which grounds might apply.

In general, there are two grounds for divorce: fault and no-fault. Fault-based grounds will require the party seeking the divorce to show that his or her spouse acted in a particular way. For example, if a party can prove that the other party committed adultery, or deserted him or her, the individual might be able to obtain a divorce based on fault. Likewise, if a spouse has been imprisoned for a crime, or has participated in "excessively vicious conduct" or cruel treatment, those acts might be grounds for a fault-based divorce.

If a party is unable to obtain a divorce based on fault, he or she might be able to file for divorce on no-fault grounds. As your Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer will tell you, a 12-month separation is the only ground needed for an absolute divorce that is no-fault based. That means that the parties must have lived separate and apart for 12 consecutive, uninterrupted months prior to filing.

Adultery and Desertion

Under Maryland law, adultery is "voluntary intercourse between a man and a woman, with a person other than the offender's spouse." In order to prove adultery, the individual must show that there was both opportunity and disposition, and the court must be convinced that the other spouse had the opportunity to commit the adultery, as well as the inclination to do so.

Desertion typically involves two concepts: actual and/or constructive desertion. Actual desertion occurs when one spouse leaves the marital residence and has no intention of ever going back. If the desertion lasts for more than a year prior to filing for divorce, it can be used as a ground for an absolute divorce. If the desertion has been for less than a year, the individual may be able to obtain a limited divorce. A constructive desertion can occur when an individual's actions compel the other party to leave for his or her own safety, health and/or self respect.

Cruel Treatment/Excessively Vicious Conduct and Imprisonment

If the complaining party experiences cruel treatment and/or excessively vicious conduct, he or she may be able to obtain an absolute divorce. Such treatment and conduct consists of anything that is intended to seriously impair the health or permanently destroy the happiness of the other spouse and/or their minor child.

With respect to imprisonment, if a spouse gets convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in Maryland or elsewhere in the U.S., and has been sentenced to at least three years in any penal institution, and a year has already been served prior to the filing of the divorce, the other spouse can use that as a ground for divorce.

If you have questions about obtaining an absolute divorce in Maryland, contact a Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC today.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.