The idea of divorce is pretty simple. When a couple wants to end their marriage, they get a divorce. And, boom. They are not married anymore. Those who have already been through a divorce in Maryland, as well as family law attorneys, however, know that divorce is not so simple. 

Each state has its own legal norms and requirements for those seeking a divorce. For example, did you know that there are two basic kinds of divorce in Maryland? Absolute divorce is when a marriage is formally and permanently dissolved. The couple will have already met the required terms to get divorced in their state. What are some of those terms?

A rule that is important for men and women to understand is that it is legally required for a couple to be separated for an entire year before a divorce can be finalized. That means the individuals must live in different residences for that period of time. Also, on a more personal level, the couple must not engage in a sexual relationship for that year. 

If during the marriage adultery or cruel treatment such as abuse was or is going on, the state doesn’t require the year-long separation before a divorce can be finalized. The state wouldn’t want someone to remain in a dangerous or cruel marriage. One reason for a required separation is to give couples a chance to possibly reconcile. In the extreme cases of adultery and abuse, reconciliation often is not a goal for those involved. 

Apart from an absolute divorce is what is called limited divorce. In this legal situation, the couple’s marriage is not yet permanently dissolved, but they are separated and have certain divorce-type arrangements already in place. A couple can arrange a limited divorce as a means toward meeting the year-long separation requirement for an absolute divorce. 

Though these are some of the basic foundations of Maryland’s divorce laws, even they can be complicated and raise questions. Anyone who is considering ending their marriage can gain insight and confidence in whatever decision they make my discussing their concerns with a family law attorney in their area.