Maryland Family Law provided by Mulinazzi Law Offices

Two Types of Divorce in Maryland: Limited versus Absolute Divorce

Two types of divorces in MarylandMaryland recognizes two kinds of divorce: limited and absolute.  There are a number of significant differences between the two types and certain circumstances in which to file for one versus the other.  The attorneys at the Mulinazzi Law Office can sit down with you to discuss which is best to file for under the facts for your particular case but in general:

1.   Limited Divorce --- A limited divorce is not a divorce at all; instead, it’s a legal separation from bed and board – pending the outcome of the final divorce (called “Absolute Divorce” see below).  In a Limited Divorce spouses can receive relief from the Court on only certain specific issues.  These include: custody, child access, child support, exclusive use and possession of the family home, alimony, and attorney’s fees.  It is important to know, that property issues are NOT resolved at this time (pensions, 401ks, house, etc.).

A Divorce Timeline: The Steps to Getting Divorced

Timeline of casesWhen divorcing, it’s difficult to know what to expect.  Divorce is a complicated process that can be full of frustrating delays and unpleasant surprises.  An idea of what is going to happen when can make an uncomfortable time a little more predictable.  Every divorce is different depending on your situation and also where you choose to get divorced, but the following timeline is a general overview of what steps will happen when.

1.     To start the Divorce process, either you or your spouse obtains a lawyer who writes and files a Petition with the court also known as a Complaint for Divorce.  This is a legal document that states why the spouse wants to divorce and how the spouse wants to resolve financial, custody, child support, and other issues.

How Does the Court Determine an Award of Alimony?

AlimonyAlimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, is one of the more difficult issues to tackle during the divorce process.  With the exception of child custody and child support, no other issue is as personal or emotionally charged to divorce litigants.

Alimony is based on the premise that during a marriage, both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other financially during the marriage and alimony is a continuation of this obligation after separation or divorce.  Accordingly, an alimony award is a vehicle for the Court to equalize the income stream of the parties after divorce for a determined period of time.