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Divorce Grounds in Maryland

There are normally six (6) common grounds to obtain an Absolute Divorce.  An absolute divorce permanently dissolves the marriage.  You will notice annulments are not covered here in the divorce section.  Those grounds are:

"Mutual and Voluntary Separation" or what most people know as a "No Fault" ground for divorce.  The separation must be for 12 months without interruption.  It is not necessary that both parties agree to ending the marriage as one is enough (unlike the Mutual Agreed divorce ground covered below).

Desertion - An "unjustified abandoment" with the intention of ending the marriage.

Constructive Desertion

Insanity and Incarceration are two other grounds a party can use to obtain a divorce.  These are ususally less common grounds, but may be available if you meet the necessary requirements for them.

Adultery - Where one party to the marriage has voluntary sexual relations with another person who is not their spouse.  There is no waiting period necessary to use this ground.  There is a defense to the ground of Adultery called "condonation."

Cruelty of Treatment and Excessively Vicious Conduct, better known as a Domestic Violence ground.

Mutual Agreement - This is a newer "no fault" ground in Maryland.  You cannot use this ground if you have any minor children in common and the parties make a written agreement resolving all issues.  That agreement would then be submitted to the court.  There is no waiting period necessary to use this ground.

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