What Are the Grounds for Divorce?

Anybody filing for divorce must show grounds for the divorce. In Maryland, there are several district grounds that the court recognizes as entitling a person to a divorce.

For a limited divorce, a person must show one of the following grounds:

  • Voluntary separation for any period.
  • Desertion
  • Cruelty of treatment, or excessively vicious conduct

For an absolute divorce, a person must show one of the following grounds:

  • Voluntary separation for one full year
  • Separation for two full years
  • Desertion for one full year
  • Cruelty of treatment, or excessively vicious conduct
  • Adultery
  • Insanity
  • Imprisonment

Unlike in other states, there is no such ground as “irreconcilable differences.” Simply having differences that prevent spouses from getting along does not serve as a ground for divorce in Maryland like it might in some other states. The simplest way to get a divorce in Maryland is usually to show the ground of one-year voluntary separation.

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