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What is the difference between limited and absolute divorce?

| Aug 22, 2020 | Firm News |

For those who expected their marriage to last, it probably feels strange to be considering divorce. And for those Maryland residents, it probably feels equally strange to see that there are two options for divorce.

Divorce is a huge life event, and a daunting decision to make. With an absolute and limited divorce, Maryland gives married couples the option to decide how far to take divorce proceedings. While you can probably guess which option does more than the other, there’s still the question of the difference.

What does limited divorce accomplish?

Limited divorce gives considering couples an opportunity to sample divorce. This allows the court and the couple to open up a discussion about the key changes that an absolute divorce would bring about. In limited divorce, couples are physically separated but remain technically married. As a result, if the rough patch ends up being temporary, they can simply get back together.

In other states, this process may be known as “separation” but within Maryland, there is no process under that name. Limited divorce accomplishes the same function.

While a limited divorce might seem like a strange way to proceed, the Maryland Courts official website points out the variety of reasons why a limited divorce may be seemingly the only way to get the process started. One of the reasons listed for limited divorces is desertion, wherein a spouse abruptly leaves. In these cases, their partner may be intolerable for any number of reasons. Tying into that, they also touch on the potential inappropriate or just awful behavior a spouse may be exhibiting. Divorce isn’t always a mutual conversation.

What does absolute divorce accomplish?

Absolute divorce is the term that people commonly associate with a marriage actually coming to an end. When finalized, it marks the end of a couple’s marriage. Because of this, more extensive and comprehensive measures will need to be taken. If limited divorce is the taste test, absolute divorce is the full meal. If a couple decides that they don’t want to get back together, limited divorce can complete its course in the absolute form. However, a couple can also skip limited divorce and jump right into absolute.

No matter what option you chose, navigating divorce can be an emotionally fraught time. Getting in touch with resources that can help you navigate the legal process as well as deal with the emotional ramifications could go a long way in providing help in a trying time.