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How is Limited Divorce Different from Absolute Divorce?

— August 18, 2021

Adultery, insanity, incarceration are the other grounds for Absolute Divorce.

When we talk about divorce, the specter of ending the marriage looms large. However, the fact is that it might or might not end in marriage depending on the grounds of divorce. Unless you have sufficient grounds for divorce, it does not result in annulment of the marriage, and attorneys specializing in divorce law can explain your position in this matter. The separation between couples is the most usual outcome of divorce cases. It seems to be in line with what couples seek to reduce the friction and tension in the relationship when they stay together. 

The separation resulting from filing a divorce suit can either be temporary or permanent depending on the grounds for divorce and the State laws. Talking to a divorce lawyer will help you explain the problems and difficulties faced in the relationship and what you expect from the divorce proceedings. Divorce cases are not easy to handle because of the intense emotional undercurrents that often become too stressful. Only seasoned divorce lawyers can empathize with their clients and help them achieve their goals by causing the least damage to their mental health.

Man sitting on sofa resting his head in his hand; image by Nik Shuliahin, via
Image by Nik Shuliahin, via

In the above context, it is crucial to understand the terms Limited Divorce and Absolute Divorce that you will frequently hear if you are a resident of Maryland. 

Limited divorce

When couples cannot settle their differences mutually or through third parties like marriage counselors, the only option left with them is to look for some legal remedy. Such couples need some breathing space and some time to introspect upon their relationship while still needing some financial relief but do not have sufficient grounds for divorce. They can seek a limited divorce that keeps the couple separated. However, the separation does not affect the marriage, and it is only a legal separation. Any of the affected parties can pray for separation for any duration on the grounds of cruelty or vicious conduct or if the other party demonstrates desertion, like moving out of the marital bedroom or the family home. 

No waiting period is necessary to file Limited Divorce in Maryland, and even a single day’s separation can be the ground to seek a Limited Divorce. However, Limited Divorce is not a prerequisite to get an Absolute Divorce.

Absolute Divorce

Absolute Divorce ends the marriage, and the grounds for seeking Absolute Divorce are many and include some of the grounds for Limited Divorce, like desertion and cruel treatment. The quickest divorce settlement happens in divorce cases by mutual consent among childless couples when they submit a written settlement declaration in court about resolving all issues that allow the judge to grant a decree quickly for divorce.

Adultery, insanity, incarceration are the other grounds for Absolute Divorce. If the couple has stayed separately for one full year without any contact with one another and not having any sexual relations at that time, then it is sufficient ground to file for Absolute Divorce. 

Although limited divorce need not necessarily precede absolute divorce, some couples seek it in case of continued disagreement between the couples and inability to establish grounds for absolute divorce. 

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