Divorce Fault Lines
Whether a divorce is amicable or acrimonious, it’s rarely a pleasant turn of events for anyone involved. There are eight grounds for dissolution of a marriage provided by Maryland state law, two of which are “no-fault” (12 month separation or mutual consent) and six of which are fault-based (adultery, desertion, incarceration in prison, confinement in a mental hospital, cruelty, and excessively vicious conduct).
In a one-year separation divorce, the person asking for the divorce must prove that the parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the complaint for divorce.
A divorce by mutual consent requires proof that the parties do not have any minor children in common; a written settlement agreement signed by both parties and submitted to the court that resolves all issues relating to alimony and the distribution of property; neither party files a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing; and both parties appear before the court at the absolute divorce hearing.
A fault-based divorce requires proof of the bad behavior (fault) that is causing the person to seek the divorce.
In either a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce, there are usually seven (7) issues to be resolved:
1. Allocation of property
2. Allocation of debts
3. Alimony (spousal maintenance)
4. Attorneys fees
5. Legal Custody
6. Physical custody and visitation (i.e., residential arrangements)
7. Child support
If divorce appears inevitable, contact us to protect your rights.