Legal Separation in Maryland

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Maryland is one of the nine states where the legal separation is not recognized by the state. In the state of Maryland, either you are married or divorced. There is no state of limbo. However, there is a provision for the couples who want to have a trial separation. There are two types of divorce in Maryland. These two types are: absolute and limited.

Types of divorce in the Maryland:

  • Absolute Divorce - An absolute divorce where one party files a petition to the court for the dissolution of marriage where all the marital ties are severed, property is divided between the spouses and the divorce is granted. The couple no longer remains husband and wife and are able to date and remarry.
  • Limited Divorce - A limited divorce, on the other hand, enables a couple to stay separated and analyze their marriage. Reconciliation always remains an option and the property as well as other financial and marital issues are sorted out and the court order is given accordingly. This order is legally binding and allows the couple to live separately with the rights and duties same as a married couple. After a limited divorce, the couple still remains married and cannot remarry.
Legal Separation in Maryland:

The process of legal separation or limited divorce in Maryland is similar to that of the process of divorce. Due to this, very few attorneys provide legal separation services in Maryland. Technically, a legal separation in Maryland occurs when the spouses stop living together. The residency requirement for filing a divorce or a legal separation is that a spouse should have stayed in Maryland state for at least one year before the date of filing.

Limited Divorce in Maryland:

In a court ordered limited divorce in Maryland, all the marital issues such as child custody, visitation and support, spousal support, decision about family home, health insurance, division of other property such as vehicles, bank accounts, retirement plans, pension schemes and tax filing, etc are addressed.

Grounds for Limited Divorce:

The limited divorce in Maryland in offered on three grounds, it being a no-fault divorce state. These grounds are as follows:

  • Willful Desertion - If a partner deserts a spouse or abandons them after marriage and does not support the childcare or household expenses, it is considered as willful desertion.
  • Cruel and Inhuman Treatment - A spouse abusing the other spouse under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The physical abuse, mental torture, denial to provide basic needs, etc. all amount to cruel and inhuman treatment.
  • Voluntary Separation - Partners living apart for a period of one year without having any marital relations including sexual is termed as voluntary separation.
Maryland Marital Settlement Agreement:

The Maryland marital Settlement Agreement is also known as Property Settlement Agreement or Voluntary Settlement Agreement or just a Settlement Agreement that settles all marital issues arising from separation of the spouses. This agreement can be reached by the spouses mutually and signed in front of the attorney. A settlement agreement is legally binding and the partners are supposed to use it as a guideline for their post separation life.

A Maryland Settlement Agreement is a document and a best way to assure that both the parties get a fair deal and are not oppressed or made to pay more or getting less than what they actually are supposed to. It is a detailed outline of all the responsibilities, duties, obligations and compulsions.

Having a marital settlement agreement in Maryland is not compulsory by law. However, working out the finer details helps a lot when the couple eventually decides to get a divorce.

Legal Separation in Maryland:

The legal separation in Maryland gives the couple the opportunity to do some reality check and analyze their marriage. The reconciliation always remains a possibility and the couple does not have to head towards a divorce. Divorcing your partner is a lengthy process and it has its negative effects on your health as well as the emotions of your children the children suffer a lot when their parents go through a divorce. An amicable divorce is also made of adjustments on the part of both the spouses which leaves the children emotionally vulnerable all through their childhood.

Hence, any attorney or law professional advises a divorce action only in cases such as physical and mental torture or adultery and bigamy.

A Voluntary Settlement Agreement allows a couple to divide their duties and responsibilities and think their decision through. When all the issues are sorted in an amicable way, the couple is able to concentrate on the emotional issues as well as their children. They may seek marital counseling as well as personal counseling which helps a lot and most of the couples end up reconciled.

So, if you are going through a rough patch in your marriage and need to take a break from each other, limited divorce is an excellent option in the state of Maryland.

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