Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Maryland Separation Laws
One area of the divorce process which many people have questions about is the actual separation. Here, we’ll take a look at a few of the most common and frequently asked questions about Maryland separation laws.
First, it’s important to note that the guidelines for separation in Maryland will not necessarily be the same as other states. In fact, these laws can be quite different from one state to the next. Therefore, residents of other areas are advised to look into the latest regulations for where they reside.
Now here are five of the most common Maryland separation FAQs:
- Do I need to be separated to file for divorce?
No, not necessarily, but it does depend on the grounds of divorce that you’re filing for, and the actual separation period itself qualifies as its own grounds in a no fault divorce.
- For a no fault divorce then, how long do you have to be separated in Maryland before getting divorced?
Maryland requires a 12 month separation period for a no default divorce. Additionally, Maryland allows Parties to file for divorce based on mutual consent if the (1) Parties have a Marital Settlement Agreement that resolves all issues arising out of the marriage; (2) the Parties have no minor children; (3) Neither Party moves to set aside the Agreement; and (4) both Parties are present at the divorce hearing.
- How does mutual consent affect separation?
In the case of mutual consent as grounds for divorce, there is no mandated separation period. Learn more about mutual consent divorce in Maryland here.
- How is separation actually defined?
Separation is defined as living separate and apart without cohabitation, or marital relations. Key to that is the separation must be continuous and uninterrupted for that full 12 month period. In other words, a couple that even briefly got back together over that year, or a couple that spent one night under the same roof, would have to restart that separation period clock if they then went ahead with their desire to be divorced.
- Do I need to file a separation agreement?
Separation agreements are not required for divorce in Maryland. That doesn’t mean that you should not pursue one though. Having a signed separation agreement in place often helps with creating a more manageable and streamlined divorce, with some or all of the key issues at stake already hashed out between the Parties.
You also do not need to file anything to officially document or begin the separation itself.
If you’re considering separation or divorce or have questions related to your current case, call the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein at 240.395.1418 today.