Next, adultery is also one of the many factors that can be considered when a judge must decide claims for alimony or marital award.
Whether adultery might be significant in the financial aspects of divorce, however, usually depends upon whether it was a cause for the breakup of the marriage. Of course, when a new relationship begins hot on the heels of a breakup, it may appear that the relationship came first, and thus caused the split. So, even when a relationship is genuinely one that commenced post-separation, that contention may be met with skepticism, depending on the timing of the new relationship.
Examples of some other factors are: the ages and health of the parties; the abilities of each party to earn; the financial contribution of each party to the marriage; and the length of the marriage.
I think that it is fair to say that — as divorce law has modernized — most practitioners do not consider adultery to be a trump card that will benefit the innocent spouse over basic financial considerations, even when adultery was undeniably the cause for the divorce. In other words, the fact that a spouse cheated does not necessarily mean that the innocent spouse will end up in a better position financially than would have occurred without the adultery.
There are, of course, other ways in which behavior that relates to adultery might be relevant to these financial issues. Yes, but the other main issue that I encounter is one of human nature, not of law.
Whatever the brain chemistry of jealousy is, it can be pretty powerful. That can be true even when people have made a calm and reasoned decision to separate.
You may appeal a ruling, but this is expensive and time consuming. Divorce in Maryland. If you live in Maryland and are considering getting a divorce, you may have heard that Maryland requires grounds for divorce, but it doesn't require fault. Under the law of Maryland, either party may claim alimony from the other. If either party has a pension or retirement fund entitlement, it is essential that an attorney who is knowledgeable about such matters prepare all necessary documents. Absolute divorce means that marriage is legally over, common property is divided and the parties are free to remarry.
Seeing an estranged spouse in a new and happy relationship can really turn the knife in the gut of even the most rational person. This can make interactions between the spouses and negotiations about the divorce more difficult. In many divorces, there is — to butcher the English language — a leav er and a leav ee. Often, one person initiates the separation and that person is in a very different place emotionally from the partner who is being left.
Maryland Residency Requirements for Divorce and Where to File: To initiate a divorce, the cause for divorce must either have occurred within the state for which there is no residency time period , or if the cause of divorce happened outside of Maryland, at least one party must be a Maryland resident for at least a year prior to filing.
To file for a divorce or separation, you should file your petition in the county where you live or in the county where your spouse lives.
Maryland Annulment : An annulment may be granted by the court if it determines the marriage is void due to:. Legal Separation in Maryland Limited Divorce : In Maryland, the court may grant a limited divorce based on the following grounds:. The court may grant a limited divorce if there is not enough evidence to grant an absolute divorce. Issues such as use of the family home, child custody and support, and alimony may all be determined in a limited divorce, but property issues won't be resolved.
As a condition of a limited divorce, the court may require the couple to try and reconcile the marriage. A limited divorce may be withdrawn upon the joint application of both spouses.
Grounds for Divorce in Maryland: In order to grant an absolute divorce in Maryland, one or more of the following grounds must exist:. If the court has previously granted a limited divorce separation based on desertion or abandonment, which at the time did not meet the grounds to grant an absolute divorce, then an absolute divorce may be obtained once the time requirements are met.
Special Divorce Provisions: If a couple has children, some circuit court may require parents to attend a special seminar designed to educate them on the different ways in which divorce may affect their children and how to minimize the trauma. The court may also order either party to pay for the legal fees and expenses of the other spouse as determined by the financial resources of each spouse and if there was justification for prosecuting or defending the proceeding.
Property division in a Maryland divorce or annulment: Property and debts acquired while married are deemed marital property and may be divided in the divorce, regardless of which spouse's name is on the title. Separate property or debt is not divisible in the divorce and includes property and debt which was acquired before the marriage, was an inheritance or gift from a third party, is excluded by a valid agreement, or is directly traceable to separate property.
If a couple is unable to decide how to divide their property and debts on their own, it will be determined by the court. When determining what kind of property division would be fair, the court takes into account:. When awarding the family home, the court may take grant possession to the custodial parent in an effort to provide continuing stability with regards to the minor children.
Towards this end, the court may order either or both spouses to pay the mortgage or expenses for the family home. How is alimony determined in Maryland? Either party may receive alimony in actions for annulment, separation, or divorce. When considering whether or not to award alimony, the amount, and the duration the court considers:. The court may order the paying spouse to pay for the cost of continuing medical coverage in some circumstances. The court may also award alimony for an indefinite period in two instances: 1 if it finds that the dependent spouse is incapable of becoming self-supporting due to age or physical incapability, or 2 if there will continue to be a huge disparity between the spouses standard of living once the dependent spouse is capable of being self-supporting.
Unless agreed to otherwise, alimony ends when either spouse dies, if the receiving spouse remarries, or if continuance would lead to inequitable results. However, violence occurring in the home could change this equation. A spouse may be removed from the marital home for a period of time if there is a history of domestic violence in order to protect the safety of the other spouse or child of the parties.
For this to occur, the abused spouse must seek and obtain a protective order which prohibits the abuser from any further contact. If granted, the abusive spouse may be banned from the marital home. Whenever a court decides issues related to the custody of a minor child, the Court may also award use and possession of the family home to the custodial parent until the final divorce hearing. The other spouse is then required to vacate the home during the use and possession period. Upon conclusion of a use and possession order, the home will be sold or transferred to the other spouse.
The time immediately following a separation can be stressful for many reasons. The emotional and financial trauma of separation is compounded by the fact that there are no rules or guidelines to direct either side on what to do next. Not surprisingly, the newly separated spouses cannot agree on anything and are generally very angry and often not able to initially reach the most basic of agreements.