Divorce is typically divided into two general categories: Absolute divorce and limited divorce. Most divorce cases are actually absolute divorce cases, wherein the divorce is final, and involves a complete termination of the legal union between the partners. A limited divorce is where the parties can retain certain aspects of their legal union. In most jurisdictions, limited divorce is simply another term for legal separation.
The partners will usually be physically separated from one another, though they may still have some ability to make certain decisions as a couple.
What Are Some Grounds for Limited Divorce?
Most limited divorce cases are granted in cases involving:
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse or neglect
- Voluntary separation
Limited divorce may sometimes be imposed for a short period of time, with the understanding that the parties may reconcile later on after they have resolved their issues. However, limited divorce can also lead to more final, absolute divorce rulings, especially if there is ongoing violence or other such issues.
What Are Some Benefits of Limited Divorce?
Some benefits of limited divorce may include:
- Certain tax filing qualifications
- Religious purposes, as some religions do not allow formal divorce
- Possibility of reconciliation
- May allow for more organized financial stability, as limited divorce proceedings may also provide court orders for child/spousal support
On the other hand, limited divorce may not be available in all instances, especially where the spouses can no longer cooperate fully with one another. Limited divorce is not available in all states; Virginia and Maryland are examples of states that allow limited divorce.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Limited Divorce Proceeding?
Limited divorce is a very specific type of family law proceeding. It generally requires the assistance of a divorce lawyer, as many legal issues can be involved, such as property distribution, child custody, and other topics. You may wish to hire a qualified attorney if you are considering filing for limited divorce. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and representation during the process to ensure that your rights are being protected.