Divorce in America is governed by the laws of the individual state in which it occurs. Also known as “dissolution of marriage,” divorce is a legal process in which a judge or other authority legally terminates a marriage, restoring them to the status of being single and permitting them to marry other individuals. Divorce proceedings also include matters of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt.
Divorce laws vary from state to state. For instance, there are two types of divorce available under Maryland law, absolute and limited. Absolute divorce is the most common form. Absolute divorce requires legal grounds for separation. In Maryland the available grounds are adultery, desertion, 12 month separation, cruelty, excessively vicious conduct, certain criminal convictions and insanity. The most commonly used grounds for divorce is 12 month separation. Parties must live apart for twelve uninterrupted months. Limited divorce is designed for separating couples who may not meet the requirements for absolute divorce.
Preliminary matters such as scheduling or settlement conferences in divorce cases may be heard by Circuit Court masters. Divorce cases typically have unresolved property division problems. If the parties share custody of children, the court can settle issues surrounding child custody and support. The court may require parties to attend parenting seminars or mediation to help resolve conflict.
We guide you through the divorce process. Even if your divorce is an amicable one, it’s important to have your own attorney to ensure that you’re represented and that your voice is heard through each phase of the divorce proceeding.