Every divorce is different. Your divorce is not the same as that of your friend, co-worker, or family member. Even if you have been divorced before, you may have unanswered questions. We offer below some answers to the most frequent questions we hear about divorce at the Law Office of Shelly M. Ingram. To explore your case-specific divorce options, we invite you to contact our office at (301) 658-7354 to schedule a confidential consultation.
In Maryland, there are several available grounds for divorce. Each of these grounds has specific factual requirements that must be met, and the grounds that you choose may impact other aspects of your case. It is important to speak with an attorney before filing suit so that you have a clear understanding of how the available grounds for divorce may affect your individual claims. The most common grounds for divorce in Maryland are: 1. Adultery 2. 12-Month Separation 3. Desertion 4. Cruelty of Treatment (towards a spouse or minor child) 5. Excessively Vicious Conduct (toward a spouse or minor child)
How long it takes to get a divorce depends on a number of things, including: 1. Your grounds for divorce. 2. Where you live, where your spouse lives or works, and where you file suit. 3. The number of disputed issues in your case. If you have a contested case, with no custody issues, on average it takes a minimum of twelve months from the date you first filed to obtain an absolute divorce.
A limited divorce is generally for people who do not have grounds for absolute divorce, but want their claims heard by the court. Limited divorce is a useful way to address time sensitive issues that arise during separation, namely: custody, child support, alimony, health insurance, and use and possession of a family home or family use personal property. If you and your spouse are able to resolve your differences through mediation or negotiation, a limited divorce may not be required.
There are a number of differences between absolute divorce and limited divorce, most notably a limited divorce will not permit you to remarry and does not provide for the final distribution of marital property. A final dissolution of marriage and all property rights related to marriage can only be obtained through absolute divorce. You should speak with an experienced family law attorney to determine what type of divorce filing is best for you.
The answers to these questions are general in nature and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to replace specific legal advice.