Gaithersburg Divorce Lawyers
Divorce often has the potential to be an extremely disruptive force in a person’s life, and people going through a divorce can find themselves constantly struggling to grasp the enormity of many situations. Many of the issues central to divorce in Maryland can become contentious disputes between spouses that lead to loud arguments.
You should be sure to seek the help of an experienced Gaithersburg divorce lawyer if you know that your marriage is currently headed for a divorce. It will be beneficial to get legal counsel involved in your case as soon as possible so you can achieve the most favorable outcomes in your case.
Types of Divorce Cases
The Maryland Courts website points out that Maryland has two kinds of divorce.
Absolute divorces legally end marriages. Both parties will be legally able to remarry after a decree of absolute divorce, the formal order issued by a court to end a divorce proceeding is entered. In an absolute divorce, neither party can inherit property from the other. The property owned by both parties jointly as spouses will automatically become property held in common, which means each party will own half. Either party will be able to seek a judgment on matters concerning child custody, child support, alimony, and division of any marital property.
A limited divorce does not legally end a marriage but allows a couple’s separation to be supervised by a court. People may seek a limited divorce when there are no grounds for an absolute divorce, a person needs financial relief, or the parties cannot settle their differences privately.
People must meet residency requirements to qualify for a limited divorce, and a limited divorce will not be permanent when a court orders one. A limited divorce is commonly called a legal separation, and it may be indefinite or for a limited time only. Both spouses may jointly ask a court to revoke a limited divorce at any time. Courts determine if either party was at fault in a limited divorce.
There may be temporary decisions about child custody, child support, alimony, health insurance coverage, and division and use of personal and real property in a limited divorce. Both parties will live apart but remain legally married and neither spouse can remarry, there will be a documented date of separation between the spouses.
When spouses have sexual relations with each other after a documented date, it restarts the time requirements for getting an absolute divorce based on the alleged ground of separation. Any sexual relations between one spouse and a third person during a limited divorce will be considered adultery.
One spouse dying while a limited divorce is in place means the other spouse inherits property, and unless a divorce decree says otherwise, the form of ownership for any property people own as spouses remains the same.
Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for divorce refers to the regulations specifying circumstances under which a person may be granted a divorce. When spouses are divorcing in Maryland, one spouse must allege a legal ground for the divorce.
Obtaining a fault-based divorce will require a person to prove in court that a spouse acted in a certain way. When people cannot prove fault-based grounds for their divorces, they could still be eligible to file for divorce based on a no-fault ground such as a certain separation period or mutual consent.
People filing for no-fault divorce do not have to prove that their spouses committed misconduct. Fault grounds are critical since they could possibly impact alimony or property division decisions and may also affect child custody if the conduct is deemed harmful to a child.
Adultery is one fault-based ground for divorce for which there is no waiting period. If a party claims and proves a spouse committed adultery, a court can grant the divorce immediately.
Proving adultery does not require showing actual intercourse occurred, but instead proving that a spouse had both the disposition and opportunity for intercourse outside of the marriage. Adulterous dispositions could include public displays of affection at locations such as RIO Lakefront, Seneca Creek State Park, or the Montgomery mall, and adulterous opportunities might involve spouses being seen entering the residences of non-spouses late at night and emerging the following morning.
Desertion is a fault-based ground for divorce that may be actual or constructive. Actual desertion occurs when a deserting spouse abandons a marital home without justification, and constructive desertion involves a spouse leaving for justifiable reasons and courts can consider leaving spouses to be the deserted ones.
Proving actual desertion involves a spouse demonstrating that desertion has continued uninterrupted for 12 months, a deserting spouse intending to end the marriage, cohabitation ending, the deserter’s leaving not being justified, the parties being beyond any reasonable hope of reconciliation, and a deserted spouse not consenting to the desertion.
Constructive desertion requires proof of the same elements, but courts consider justifications for constructive desertion such as cruelty as well as the nature and duration of misconduct, the length of time a leaving spouse endured misconduct, and what attempts a leaving spouse made to try to save a marriage.
Cruel treatment of a spouse is another fault-based ground for divorce in which conduct endangers the life or health of another person or their minor child and makes cohabitation unsafe. A single act of cruelty may be grounds for divorce if a party intended to cause serious bodily harm or conduct was severe enough to threaten serious danger in the future.
Cruelty as a ground for divorce also includes mental abuse. There will be no waiting period for cruel treatment, as parties may immediately file for divorce when based on cruelty of treatment or excessively vicious conduct.
Obtaining a divorce based on criminal convictions involve spouses proving their spouses were convicted of crimes in any state, received a jail sentence of more than three years, and served 12 months at the time of filing for divorce.
If the grounds for divorce are insanity, a person must prove a spouse is considered permanently incurable when they have been confined in a mental institution, hospital, or other institution for at least three years prior to filing for the divorce. In addition, at least two physicians competent in psychiatry testifies that the insanity is permanently incurable and there is no hope of recovery, and one of the parties has been a resident of Maryland for at least two years before filing for divorce.
Contact Our Gaithersburg Divorce Lawyers
If you are going through a divorce right now or believe that one might be imminent, do not wait another moment to find yourself legal representation. Our divorce lawyers at Shah & Kishore understand everything that people are going through while dealing with a divorce, and we will work closely with you so you can get complete help every step of the way.
You can find our firm in Rockville but we serve clients in communities throughout Montgomery County and the Bethesda area, such as Potomac, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Burtonsville, Germantown, and Montgomery Village. You can call (301) 315-0001 or contact Shah & Kishore to receive a free consultation with our Gaithersburg divorce lawyers.