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Marital Dissolution and Separation

Divorces in Maryland are divided into two classifications. An absolute divorce is a final, lasting divorce that dissolves a marriage. These can only be obtained when you have the requisite ground. The most common examples of grounds include a one-year separation, adultery, a one-year desertion, and cruelty. When you become absolutely divorced from your spouse, the court has the authority to make determinations as to property division, custody, alimony, child support, use and possession, and other issues.

The second type is a limited divorce. Limited divorces are commonly used for religious purposes and for having the court make certain determinations when you do not yet have a ground for an absolute divorce. You still need to have a ground to file for a limited divorce, but the grounds are usually easier to obtain. If you ask the court just for a limited divorce, the court cannot decide property division issues and if a limited divorce is granted, you still do not have leave to remarry. The court can, however, make determinations regarding custody, alimony, child support, ownership of property, and, in some instances, who will live in the home.

Howanski, Meadows & Erdman, LLC draws up effective and thorough marital settlement or custody and support agreements to give you the peace of mind that your solutions are functional and your rights are protected.

Whether or not you have a ground for an absolute or a limited divorce, you and your spouse can always agree on how to resolve all of your marital issues and how to plan the dissolution of your marriage. We can work with you to draft a marital settlement agreement which addresses as many or as few issues as you wish. Then, once you do have a ground for absolute divorce, usually a one-year separation, you will be able to file for divorce and the agreement reached between the two of you will direct the court on how to proceed, thus saving you countless hours and fees which can result from litigation.