In many states, a couple can file for divorce for any reason at any time during the marriage. Maryland, however, is a little different. A no-fault divorce can only be achieved after one year of a mutual separation. If fault can be proven, such as cruelty or adultery, a couple can divorce right away. This is called an absolute divorce, and when a couple cannot obtain one immediately, there is an alternative: limited divorce.
A limited divorce is a legal separation; this option often raises many questions concerning property division. A limited divorce does not split marital assets or allow the couple to remarry, but it does force them to live apart and live their own lives as if they were fully divorced. If the couple is going through a rough patch and is unsure if they want to go through with a divorce, they can try a limited divorce for a trial period and see how their relationship changes. If they do proceed with a divorce, they will have had the time to organize their finances and understand what will happen to their marital property during asset division.