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Apr 17, 2018

Understanding Divorce: Absolute vs. Limited, Fault vs. No Fault, Contested vs. Uncontested

Apr 17, 2018 - Family Law by |

How are all of these types of divorce in Maryland different?

Sometimes it seems like there is so much terminology and verbiage around divorce that it would be impossible to actually understand it all. Don’t worry, we’re here to help, and in this article, we’ll be discussing three pairs of phrases in terms of types of divorce with different meanings. Some overlap with one another, and some are unique to themselves, which is why it’s worthwhile to take a moment to sort it out.

What’s the difference between absolute divorce and limited divorce?

Absolute vs. Limited Divorce: An absolute divorce indicates the official, final legal conclusion of a marriage. A limited divorce may be granted if the Parties do not have grounds for an Absolute Divorce. While the Parties are not legally divorced after a Limited Divorce, the Court can determine certain issues such as custody, child support, and alimony. The court cannot, in a limited divorce, order the division of property.

What’s the difference between fault and no fault divorce?

Fault vs. No Fault Divorce: There are a variety of different grounds for divorce in Maryland. Some of these come with what’s seen as “fault,” while others are categorized as no fault. A no fault divorce may cite the legal 12 month separation period or irreconcilable differences. Other grounds for divorce are classified as at fault and include issues such as cruelty or abuse, or adultery.

Mutual consent in Maryland is another form of what is essentially thought of as a no fault divorce

What’s the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce: Uncontested divorces occur when the two Parties have reached an agreement with regard to issues arising out of their marriage outside of court. This may be done via divorce mediation or legal separation agreements. In this event, the two Parties enter the courtroom to finalize the divorce, and there are no more issues remaining to be resolved, so the process is uncontested.

A contested divorce on the other hand occurs when the Parties have not resolved all of their issues. In this case, the Parties would appear before a Judge for a trial on any unresolved issues, which may include grounds for divorce, alimony, custody, child support, division of marital property, and attorney’s fees, among other matters.

If you are facing separation or divorce, you should seek out legal assistance immediately. Call our office at 240.395.1418 to schedule your free consultation.