The Difference between Limited and Absolute Divorce in Maryland

The family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law explain the differences between limited and absolute divorce in Maryland.

When discussing the procedures associated with divorce, many people assume there is one process with little to no room for adjustments. Because family law significantly differs than any other practice of law, such as criminal or personal injury law, it is important to understand the many facets involved with divorce.

There are two types of divorce in Maryland – limited and absolute. By gaining a better understanding of each, couples wishing to pursue a divorce can have the greatest chance of achieving successful outcomes.

A limited divorce is a legal action in which a couple remains legally married while living separate and apart from one another. Some of the criteria that allow a couple to pursue a limited divorce include desertion by one spouse, abusive or unreasonably cruel behavior toward a spouse or children who live in the house, or voluntary separation.

A limited divorces can provide spouses with temporary child custody, health insurance coverage, division of assets and child support. Couples may seek a limited divorce if they do not have grounds for an absolute divorce, need financial relief or require legal assistance to settle their differences.

The second type of divorce is an absolute divorce. This type of divorce is a final, permanent divorce that formally ends the marriage. Once the declaration of an absolute divorce has been made, each party is free to remarry. In addition, any jointly-owned property that was obtained during the marriage is divided and distributed in accordance with a legal agreement.

Depending on the conditions, your divorce decree may specify terms relating to child custody, child support, alimony and division of assets. The grounds for an absolute divorce include, but are not limited to, adultery, desertion, a 12-month separation or cruel treatment.

Whether you are seeking a limited or an absolute divorce, trying to tackle it alone can add more stress than relief. By enlisting the professional help from a licensed attorney, you will receive assistance every step of the way to help achieve your goals throughout the divorce process.

For more information about the differences between limited and absolute divorce or your personal circumstances, please contact the family law attorneys at Rodier Family Law.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide about the subject matter. A licensed Maryland attorney should be sought about your specific circumstances.