Family Law FAQs

Are there different types of divorce in Maryland?

Yes. Maryland recognizes both a Limited and an Absolute Divorce. An Absolute Divorce is permanent, allows remarriage of each party, and resolves all property issues between the parties. A Limited Divorce, however, establishes that the parties have separated, identifies the grounds for divorce, determines ownership of property, and establishes support obligations. A Limited Divorce does not divide property.

How do you determine which type of divorce is appropriate?

In every divorce, grounds for that divorce must be identified and proven. The grounds help to determine which divorce is appropriate in each situation. In Maryland, there are both fault and no fault grounds.

Are there alternatives to divorce litigation?

Yes. Some people choose to resolve the issues stemming from their divorce by working together. This approach is called the Collaborative Approach to divorce, and is one option for parties who have determined that they cannot continue in their marital relationship, but would like to dissolve that relationship in a civil, non-adversarial manner, by working together instead of against each other. See our Collaborative Law page for more information, and to determine whether Collaborative Law may be right for you.

If custody has already been determined by the Court, can it be changed?

Yes. Custody is modifiable upon the showing of a material change of circumstances, and that the change is in the best interests of the minor child(ren).

Is child support modifiable?

Yes. Child support is always but a material change of circumstances is required.

What are Peace Orders and Protective Orders?

Peace and Protective Orders are civil Orders issued by a Judge to prevent someone from committing certain acts against the person filing for protection. It is a crime to violate an Order.

Can a Protective Order protect a person other than the one filing the Petition?

Yes. Protection can be sought for other individuals besides the individual filing with the Court. A common example is protection sought for a minor child.