2013 Maryland Code
FAMILY LAW
§ 7-103 - Absolute divorce


MD Fam L Code § 7-103 (2013) What's This?

§7-103.

(a) The court may decree an absolute divorce on the following grounds:

(1) adultery;

(2) desertion, if:

(i) the desertion has continued for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce;

(ii) the desertion is deliberate and final; and

(iii) there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation;

(3) conviction of a felony or misdemeanor in any state or in any court of the United States if before the filing of the application for divorce the defendant has:

(i) been sentenced to serve at least 3 years or an indeterminate sentence in a penal institution; and

(ii) served 12 months of the sentence;

(4) 12-month separation, when the parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce;

(5) insanity if:

(i) the insane spouse has been confined in a mental institution, hospital, or other similar institution for at least 3 years before the filing of the application for divorce;

(ii) the court determines from the testimony of at least 2 physicians who are competent in psychiatry that the insanity is incurable and there is no hope of recovery; and

(iii) 1 of the parties has been a resident of this State for at least 2 years before the filing of the application for divorce;

(6) cruelty of treatment toward the complaining party or a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation; or

(7) excessively vicious conduct toward the complaining party or a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

(b) Recrimination is not a bar to either party obtaining an absolute divorce on the grounds set forth in subsection (a)(1) through (7) of this section, but is a factor to be considered by the court in a case involving the ground of adultery.

(c) Res judicata with respect to another ground under this section is not a bar to either party obtaining an absolute divorce on the ground of 12-month separation.

(d) Condonation is not an absolute bar to a decree of an absolute divorce on the ground of adultery, but is a factor to be considered by the court in determining whether the divorce should be decreed.

(e) (1) A court may decree an absolute divorce even if a party has obtained a limited divorce.

(2) If a party obtained a limited divorce on the ground of desertion that at the time of the decree did not meet the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section, the party may obtain an absolute divorce on the ground of desertion when the desertion meets the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section.

§ 7-103 - 1. Protective orders

(a) Inadmissible evidence. -- An order or decision in a proceeding under Title 4, Subtitle 5 of this article is inadmissible as evidence in a proceeding under this title.

(b) Compliance not grounds. -- In a proceeding under this title, a court may not consider compliance with an order issued under Title 4, Subtitle 5 of this article as grounds for granting a decree of limited or absolute divorce.

§ 7-103 - 2. Child support and custody educational seminar

(a) Applicability. -- This section applies to an action for divorce in which issues of child support, custody, or visitation are raised.

(b) Participation by all parties. -- Prior to granting a decree of divorce, the court may require all parties to participate in an educational seminar that is designed to educate parents about the effects, and to minimize the disruption, of a divorce on the lives of children.

(c) Rules. --

(1) The Court of Appeals shall adopt rules to implement this section.

(2) Rules adopted in accordance with this subsection shall:

(i) provide for the content of the seminar required under this section;

(ii) require successful completion of the seminar by all parties to the action within a certain time after the service of the original complaint upon the defendant;

(iii) establish sanctions for failure to successfully complete the seminar required under this section;

(iv) for purposes of funding the cost of the seminar, establish a fee that:

1. shall be assessed as costs; and

2. may be waived under appropriate circumstances; and

(v) establish criteria for exemption from the requirement that the parties participate in an educational seminar, except that a court may not exempt the parties from attending the educational seminar if there is any evidence of domestic violence or child abuse or neglect.

(d) Contract to provide seminar. -- The seminar required under this section may be provided under contract with a public or private agency.

(e) Seminar proceedings inadmissible in divorce proceedings. -- Unless the parties stipulate otherwise, any information about a party, including statements or reports, obtained from an educational seminar required by this section, is not admissible during the action for divorce of that party.

(f) Attendance. -- This section may not be construed to require the parties to an action for divorce to attend the educational seminar together.

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