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What is the difference between Limited and Absolute divorce

 

LIMITED DIVORCE v. ABSOLUTE DIVORCE


A limited divorce is essentially a Court ordered separation.  However, the parties remain husband and wife and are, therefore, not free to remarry.  Absent an agreement, the Court cannot dispose of real property in a limited divorce.  Typically,  a limited divorce is plead in situations when the parties do not have the grounds for an absolute divorce, i.e. a one year separation or adultery, but are seeking other relief from the Court that can be granted as part of a limited divorce, such as alimony, use and possession of the home, custody, and child support.  
    
Sometimes a limited divorce is sought in anticipation that a supplemental or amended complaint will be filed when a ground for divorce ripens.  Other times, a party may seek a limited divorce, but not an absolute divorce, in order to remain on their spouse's health benefits.
    
An absolute divorce is what most people think of when they think of a divorce.  The parties are no longer husband and wife and are free to remarry.  All issues of real and personal property are resolved.  The grounds for an absolute divorce include:  (a) adultery; (b) desertion lasting longer than 12 months; (c) a 12-month separation; (d) insanity; (e) cruelty of treatment; and (f) excessively vicious conduct.  
    
The Maryland General Assembly recently changed the grounds for divorce from a one year “voluntary” separation to a one year separation, regardless of whether the separation was voluntary.
    
A party seeking either a limited or absolute divorce must present oral testimony before a Master or Judge concerning the grounds for the divorce.  That testimony must also be corroborated by other evidence or testimony to support the grounds for divorce.  Generally speaking, in most cases, an independent witness will testify to corroborate the grounds for d

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