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FAQs and Answers About Maryland Divorce Law

When you’re facing a divorce in Maryland, it’s common to have questions about the process and how it will affect your future. As soon as you make the decision to separate, retain an experienced divorce attorney who can represent your interests as you negotiate with your ex on issues like child support and alimony. As you make decisions about your divorce, keep these answers to some frequently asked questions in mind. maryland - divorce

What kind of divorce can I get in Maryland?

In Maryland, there are both no-fault and fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce is the easiest to obtain. To qualify for a no-fault divorce, spouses must live apart voluntarily for one year without interruption if children were born during the marriage, or if no children were born during the marriage, spouses may qualify immediately if certain other criteria is met. If you seek a fault-based divorce, your divorce attorney will need to prove a reason for the divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, deliberate desertion that has continued for 12 months or more, or a criminal conviction that includes a three-year or longer sentence. Your attorney will help you choose the right type of divorce for your situation.

What is the difference between a limited and absolute divorce?

A limited divorce is similar to a legal separation. During a limited divorce, the couple is separated but the marriage is not terminated. Issues such as child custody and alimony are often decided on a temporary basis during a limited divorce, but those determinations can then roll over to an absolute divorce. An absolute divorce is the final, legal dissolution of a marriage. Limited divorce is not appropriate for every case but can be helpful in instances in which couples have not yet met the requirements for absolute divorce but need assistance in settling their differences until they become eligible.

How are child support and alimony different?

Child support is paid specifically to meet the financial needs of the children that were conceived during the marriage. It is typically paid to the custodial parent. Alimony is spousal support and is designed to prevent one spouse from experiencing a significant decline in lifestyle or financial standing after divorce. Courts consider each case individually before ruling on child support and alimony.