In Maryland, the complete option is an absolute divorce, what most people think of when they hear the word “divorce.” The alternative is what amounts to a legal separation.
Maryland’s legislative code refers to a legal separation as a limited divorce.
Whether through mediation, while involved in litigation, or through the Collaborative process, you and your spouse can negotiate a separation agreement and be as creative as needed to address all the unique issues related to dissolution of your marriage. In most cases, an engagement ring is a gift purchased by a spouse and gifted to the other prior to marriage.
An absolute divorce is what most people simply refer to as a divorce, the termination of the bonds of matrimony.
History provides the reason some states still use the term absolute divorce, rather than adopting the simpler term, divorce.
Parties are also prevented from sexual relations with each other.
Neither spouse can marry someone else – only an absolute divorce allows either party to remarry.
If you can prove that you and your spouse have separate living quarters – and not just in separate areas of the house -- you can petition the court for a limited divorce.
Other criteria include desertion by one spouse or behavior deemed abusive or unreasonably cruel toward either spouse or children who live in the house.
However, Maryland recognizes two types of divorce, which may complicate the issue of what is considered a “final” divorce.
The laws in most states allow you to legally leave your spouse in one of two ways, either completely or partially.
In Maryland, a “limited divorce” may be considered the best of both worlds.