How Does a Limited Divorce Work?  

Although sometimes referred to as a legal separation, a limited divorce does not dissolve a marriage. But what it does is provide couples with the legal separation they need. A court may determine who gets to stay in the marital home, who gets custody of the kids, and who gets alimony, but these rulings are only temporary. Remarriage is not permitted, as this legal process does not lead to the termination of a marriage. Additionally, if one spouse starts seeing someone else or has sexual intercourse with someone else while married, it might be considered adultery.   

Is a Limited Divorce a Means or an End? 

Certain people should not get a divorce with restricted rights. It may be worth considering, however, if you and your spouse are currently living apart and yet can’t settle your differences on child support, alimony, or any other matter. Similarly, a limited divorce may help you start the process of an absolute divorce if you can’t prove why you need one. On rare occasions, one spouse may threaten to remove the other from their employer’s health insurance program or even move the children to a different state.  

Ultimately, you and your lawyer may determine that a limited divorce is the best course of action for the case for a variety of reasons. 

What is the Difference Between Limited and Absolute Divorce?  

An absolute divorce occurs when a court rules that a marriage is null and void. So, a court-mandated breakup or termination of marital relations is known as an absolute divorce. The status of the parties is changed from covert to single as a result of marital misbehavior or another legal reason that arises after a marriage ceremony. 

In other words, an absolute divorce is the legal process that officially ends a marriage. Only once the court finds that every criterion of the law has been met will an absolute divorce be granted. Remarrying before an absolute divorce decree has been issued is forbidden.   

However, a limited divorce will not be permanent and would prohibit you from remarrying, so it’s not a good choice if you want to end your marriage. Another possibility is that you can mediate property disputes, but they will remain unresolved. This kind of divorce, at its most fundamental, allows the parties to separate and pays interim alimony and other forms of assistance.   

What Does Limited Divorce Achieve?   

Couples who are considering getting a divorce can test the waters with a limited divorce. Thus, the court and the couple may discuss the major changes that an absolute divorce would cause. In a limited divorce, the couple remains legally married even if they live apart physically. Consequently, they may easily get back together if the tough patch turns out to be temporary.  

Some jurisdictions may use the term “separation” to describe this process, but Maryland does not have a comparable legal framework. You could achieve the same result by using a limited divorce.   

Although a limited divorce may seem like an unusual way to go about things, the Maryland Courts’ official website provides many justifications as to why this kind of divorce may seem to be the only way to begin the process. A spouse’s abrupt departure from their relationship is an example of desertion, one of the listed requirements for restricted divorces. Their spouse may be unbearable for several reasons, depending on the specifics of the situation. In addition to the details, they touch on a spouse’s potentially inappropriate or downright hostile attitude. Divorce is not always something that both spouses agree on.  


Bed and board divorces are one kind of limited divorce. It does not prohibit them from remarrying, but it does enable them to live apart while still functioning as husband and wife.  

Spouses may seek a limited divorce for religious reasons if they do not have enough grounds for an absolute divorce, which would dissolve the marriage. The court has the power to decide on issues such as child support, custody, use and possession of the house and personal property, personal property ownership disputes, and the sale of jointly held personal property when a limited divorce petition is filed.   

In contrast, the court cannot make an equitable distribution of marital assets or mandate the sale of jointly owned real estate in a limited divorce. This category includes the residences of the families involved.   

Even if they can’t remarry according to the provisions of the limited divorce, spouses who get them may still file their taxes as single filers.