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What is the Difference between an Absolute & Limited Divorce?

A limited divorce is a legal action in which the court supervises a couple’s separation.  It is generally used by people who:

  • Do not yet have grounds for an absolute divorce
  • Need financial relief
  • Are unable to settle their differences without an attorney

During a limited divorce, the parties are to live apart.  However, they remain legally married but separated.

  • Although the parties are still married, neither party has the right to have sexual relations with the other spouse.
  • In addition, neither spouse may remarry, nor sexual relations with another person during a limited divorce and is considered adultery.

The court determines which party is at fault, if either is at fault.  The court may grant support to one spouse based on the particular situation.

The limited divorce can also resolve questions of:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Health insurance coverage and
  • Division of personal and real property

If spousal support is not required and there is no property to divide, there is generally no need for a limited divorce.

If one spouse dies after a limited divorce the other spouse may still inherit property.  Also the form of ownership for any property you own as husband and wife will stay the same.

Grounds for a Limited Divorce

To obtain a limited divorce, you must first prove at least one of four grounds.  These grounds include the following:

  • Cruelty of treatment
  • Physically or mentally abused
  • Abandonment
  • Mutual and voluntary separation

The more frequently used ground is desertion.  There are two types of desertion, actual and constructive.

  • Actual desertion is where one party unjustifiably abandons the other or actually kicks out the other spouse from the home.
  • Constructive desertion is where one party is forced to leave the home because of the misconduct of the other.

There is no certain amount of time needed to prove desertion in a limited divorce.  Any reasonable time period will justify the action.

Also, a spouse may obtain a limited divorce where one spouse engages in cruelty of treatment or excessively vicious conduct toward the other spouse or a minor child of the party who is filing for a limited divorce.  A victimized spouse who leaves the marital home because of some type of abuse also has a legal action for a limited divorce on the grounds of constructive desertion, as well as a justifiable defense to an abusing spouse’s claim of desertion.

On this note, if you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement without an attorney you are able to use the do it yourself divorce.  Not only will a DIY divorce save you money but it will also give you the peace of mind that you are waiting for so you can begin your new life today.  Simply go to www.mydivorcedocuments.com and download your specific state forms and kit now.

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4 comments on “What is the Difference between an Absolute & Limited Divorce?

  1. very use full information. thank you.

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  4. Many thanks for the article. I will have a link back to this information from our fresh blog. Thanks again.

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