Excessive cruelty court case divorce maryland

Adultery is a fault-based ground for divorce. There is no waiting period for adultery.

Pursuing A Just Divorce

If a party claims and proves that his or her spouse committed adultery, the court can grant the divorce right away. To prove adultery in court, you do not need to show actual intercourse occurred.

However, you must prove that the offending spouse had both the disposition and the opportunity for intercourse outside of the marriage. It is not enough for your spouse to simply admit to adultery. You must prove it using evidence examples: text messages, photographs, emails, etc.

One Time is Too Many: Cruelty and Vicious Conduct in a Marriage

However, if the offending spouse is the husband and a child is born outside of the marriage, this is usually enough to prove a claim of adultery. The law is not completely clear about how adultery relates to same-sex marriages. Adultery may be a factor in determining the right to alimony.

It may be a factor in awarding custody of the children only if the court determines that the adulterous behavior had a harmful effect on the children.

Generally, in actual desertion, the deserting spouse abandons the marital home without justification. In "constructive" desertion, the person who leaves is justified and the court will consider the leaving spouse the deserted one. To prove actual desertion, the spouse seeking the divorce must prove ALL of the following elements:. Technically, "constructive" desertion also requires proof of the above elements. The most common justification for constructive desertion is cruelty. Generally, the court will allow the spouse to leave and obtain a divorce for "constructive" desertion if remaining in the home would make them lose their self-respect or put them or their children in danger of either physical or mental harm.

However, marital property will be divided according to what the court feels is fair, and the division may not be equal.

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Maryland Divorce

In some cases, couples can agree on how to divide their property with the help of an attorney, and a written agreement is simply submitted to the court for approval. In other cases, spouses have already entered into a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married and specified which of their property will be marital property and which will be separate. However, in some cases, couples have no prenuptial agreement and cannot decide between themselves, and it is necessary to have the court decide how to divide the property.

Having the court decide can be expensive when marital and separate property have been mixed or "commingled," and it may become necessary to retain experts to trace the source of the funds used to purchase assets, such as a home or a business. Child custody and visitation require more sensitivity to individual circumstances. The court will consider the totality of the circumstances related to the care of the children and evaluate their best interests in coming up with an arrangement for custody and visitation.

After custody has been established by the court, a parent with custody is presumed to be acting in a child's best interests.


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It would take a finding of extraordinary circumstances or a showing of unfitness for the court to change an existing custody or visitation arrangement. A family law attorney near Owings Mills can discuss your case with you and determine if a fault-based divorce is right for you. A court is more likely to determine that physical violence constitutes cruelty if the spouse engaged in a pattern of physical violence, has threatened physical violence, or has engaged in mental abuse. Divorce may be granted if this abuse was directed to either you or to a minor child. Acts of physical violence may include instances of marital rape.

Courts give mental abuse significant weight when considering whether to grant an absolute divorce for fault-based grounds.

Generally, mental abuse must be egregious. For example, the use of profane language alone might not be sufficient to prove cruel treatment.