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Maryland divorce laws: What does it mean to be a no-fault state?

It's difficult, if not impossible, to put the blame on one person for causing the failure of a Maryland marriage. Some individuals do cause their marriages to end -- perhaps through infidelity, substance abuse or some inappropriate or unlawful behavior. However, even in these situations, the lines can get blurry. Once the name-calling and finger-pointing start, both sides of a marriage could come up with reasons why the other person was to blame for the end of their marriage.

To avoid the confusion and difficulty of blaming one side or the other for the loss of a loving relationship, the state of Maryland is a "no fault" divorce state. As such, married spouses who want a divorce do not need to prove or allege any wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse to receive court approval for their divorces.

Maryland law states that you merely need to show that you have been living separately from your spouse involuntarily for two years. Alternatively, you could show that you've been living separately voluntarily for one year.

To finalize the most difficult decisions in your divorce, you can also immediately file for legal separation, which allows you to come to an agreement with your ex on important matters such as child custody, child support and asset division before the 2-year or 1-year living separate requirements have been met.

Do you need help with your divorce proceedings in Maryland? An experienced family law attorney can help. Your lawyer can guide you through the process of filing for divorce and also tell you what you can expect as you decide whether this process is right for you at this time and stage in your life.

Source: FindLaw, "Maryland Divorce Laws," accessed May 05, 2017

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