Family Law and Divorce

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?

Understanding the different grounds for filing divorce in the state of Maryland is essential to anyone who is going through the process, or may be going through the process in the future. All states are different as well in regards to the laws and guidelines they have in place for divorce, which is why it’s crucial to find state-specific information for where you’re based.

There are several specific grounds for divorce within Maryland. One of these is adultery, in which you have to prove that your spouse had the disposition and opportunity to commit adultery.

Another grounds for divorce in Maryland is cruelty or abuse. This can be proven via a witness, or also via documentation and presented evidence, including photographs and medical records, for instance.

There are also several other grounds for divorce in Maryland, which may be less common than the above. Constructive desertion is one, in which case you show that your spouse has deserted you for a period of at least a year. Other grounds include insanity, as well as a criminal conviction, and in both cases, there are various timelines which need to be met depending on the specifics of your circumstances.

Now, there doesn’t always need to be one of these specific grounds in order for a couple to split up and be divorced. When none of the above apply, the divorce becomes known as a no fault divorce. In this instance, the actual grounds for the divorce is a 12 month separation period. The couple must be continuously separated over this entire period and they are then able to officially file their divorce paperwork.

Maryland also has added mutual consent as one of the state’s grounds for divorce. This applies to couples who do not have children and who have put an agreement in place for how to handle all other issues to resolve the marriage in terms of property or finances. In this case, the 12 month separation period of a typical no fault divorce as specified above is no longer required.

As mentioned, it’s important to note that all of the above only specifically reflects the state of Maryland. Other states may vary quite substantially in terms of the grounds of divorce that they recognize or not, or the specific ways those grounds are defined, regulated, or enforced. Always be sure to consult with an experienced legal professional from your state and local area who can guide you through the process.