Limited Divorce – Limited but Sometimes Necessary

liberty blind with scales

liberty blind with scalesLimited divorce? What is that?

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

A limited divorce is necessary in certain situations where the parties need to resolve very specific issues, but they are not yet eligible for a final divorce order.

Getting a final divorce order can take a long time. You must have certain “grounds” for divorce. If you don’t have the proper legal reasons for a divorce, you cannot get a divorce order.

What if you need an order of court settling certain matters before you meet the legal requirements to get the final divorce order? 

For example, one of the most common grounds for divorce is a one year voluntary separation. But that takes one year of living apart. Are you supposed to sit around for a year with unresolved issues like child support and child custody? 

No. In that case, you may need a limited divorce.

Not Quite A Full Divorce, But Enough For Now

A limited divorce is just what it sounds like – it is a legal divorce, but it is “limited” in scope. It formalizes the separation and gives it the power of a court order. Some people may call this a “legal separation.”

Attorneys will file for them, and the Court will grant them, in certain situations where there is a need to resolve certain limited issues that cannot wait until the final divorce order.

The Court may grant a limited divorce when there are certain limited issues that need to be addressed before the full divorce. These issues are:

  • Custody
  • Child Support
  • Visitation
  • Alimony
  • Use and possession of the marital home.

In some cases, these issues must be dealt with now, before the final divorce can be granted.

If you are in this situation, you can file for a limited divorce, get a court hearing, and the court can then pass an order covering these limited issues – before the final divorce decree. 

Not everyone needs a limited divorce. If the parties can resolve these issues without a lot of fighting, it saves the need for this step. A limited divorce is just an extra expense. 

But if you and your spouse cannot agree on these important issues, then a limited divorce hearing can be the right option for your divorce case.

Conclusion & Next Steps

Limited divorce can be necessary in certain specific divorce situations.  Ask your attorney about it if you think you may need one.

Want to know more? Discover what you need to know about divorce in Maryland. Click here to see our Free Legal Consumer Guide to divorce cases in Maryland and get answers to your questions today. Click here to read our Free Legal Consumer Guide to Child Custody. Know your options. Be informed. Protect yourself.

Need a divorce lawyer or child custody attorney? Please contact us for a consultation today if you need a Maryland divorce lawyer for your family law case.

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