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Grounds for Divorce

The state of Maryland recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. The ground for the divorce must be pointed out in the petition. The plaintiff can either state that the other spouse's misconduct led to the divorce or just claim that the marriage is broken and no one is to blame.

All the fault-based grounds for divorce must be proven before the court. They include:

  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion of one spouse for 12 months
  • Conviction of a felony (for at least three years)
  • Insanity (at least three years of confinement in a mental institution, and provided the fact that one of the parties has been a resident of Maryland for at least two years)
  • Cruel treatment or excessively vicious conduct toward the plaintiff or his/her child

No-fault grounds for divorce in Maryland include:

  • One-year separation with no hope of a reconciliation
  • Mutual consent (this ground is appropriate if both spouses want to get a divorce, and also they have no minor kids, they have a written settlement agreement, and they are ready to appear in court to acknowledge their intention)
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