Abandonment Laws in Divorce in Maryland

by Mykal May
Couples can get a legal divorce in Maryland on the grounds of abandonment.

Couples can get a legal divorce in Maryland on the grounds of abandonment.

Maryland is a state with very specific requirements for divorce. If a couple intends to divorce in Maryland, they must live apart for one year or give a reason they should be granted a divorce. One common reason listed by Divorcenet.com is abandonment or desertion. To file for divorce on the grounds of abandonment or desertion in Maryland, specific requirements must be met.


One common reason for divorce in Maryland is abandonment or desertion. A spouse is considered abandoned if the other partner physically leaves the marital home without any intention of returning or continuing the marriage. It is also considered abandonment if one spouse voluntarily leaves the marital home for more than two years for any reason.

Constructive Desertion

Maryland recognizes a type of desertion other than physical desertion. According to DivorceSupport.com, a constructive desertion is when one spouse forces the other spouse to leave the marital home through intolerable behavior. This can include physical or verbal abuse, refusal of sexual intercourse, cruelty or other behavior determined to be constructive desertion by a court.

Missing Spouse

If a spouse has abandoned his or her partner and cannot be found, Maryland recognizes a default divorce. In this type of divorce, the abandoned partner can sign the divorce papers without consent of the missing partner.

About the Author

Mykal May has been writing professionally since 1992. She has published work in a number of print magazines including Brio and Pockets and for various Web sites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in writing and a Bachelor of Science in family relationships from Central Missouri State University.

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