A husband left his wife and told her he’s filing for a limited divorce.
But the wife is asking, “What is limited divorce?”
A spouse does not have grounds for a limited divorce unless the separation is mutual and voluntary or something that you did that justified your spouse’s decision to leave the marriage.
In Maryland, the law provides for limited divorces and absolute or final divorces.
Until the court orders an absolute divorce, then the marriage is not over.
Married people must wait to file a complaint for an absolute divorce for the most part.
An innocent spouse does not have to wait to seek an absolute divorce when adultery or excessively vicious conduct by the other spouse is the reason for the failure of a marriage.
In other circumstances, spouses must have been separated for one year.
Based on a separation that is not mutual and voluntary, the current waiting period for divorce is two years. It will be reduced to one year in October.
There are important financial and personal matters that need to be resolved when spouses must wait to file a complaint for an absolute divorce. Filing a complaint for limited divorce is one way of getting the court to address disputed personal and financial matters, pending the expiration of the waiting period.
A spouse cannot get a limited divorce if he/she is at fault for the end of a marriage. A spouse does not have grounds for a limited divorce unless he can prove that he was justified in leaving his wife or that the separation was mutual and voluntary.
The inability of a spouse at fault to obtain a limited divorce may not have much practical effect.
The innocent spouse can file for a limited divorce if there are issues that need to be resolved. An innocent spouse may also decide to file a counter complaint for a limited divorce if he/she receives a complaint for limited divorce from the spouse who is at fault.
When there are property issues that need to be resolved, limited divorces are most commonly filed.
However neither of the spouses should file any kind of divorce complaint to get the court to address child custody, visitation or support.
A petition or complaint relating to these issues can be filed independently.
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