Find the right lawyer now

What Is Limited Divorce?

Find a Local Family Lawyer near You

What Is Limited Divorce?

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:

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 family law attorney in your area 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.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 08-20-2014 07:21 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.