Here's How to Avoid a Long-Term Separation in Maryland
Why Your Ex Wants a Long-Term Separation, and Why You Shouldn’t Agree
It was three years ago this past March when you told your ex you wanted a divorce. The good news is, you’ve adjusted well to your new living situation and are moving on with your life. The bad news is, you’re still not divorced.
Divorce makes everything seem so final and permanent, which is why many people don’t want to take the next step. A divorce means that the chances of reconciliation are slim to none, and the finality of the situation is terrifying for many, which is why they drag out the process.
A long-term separation may seem enticing, but it is actually quite detrimental to your situation, which is likely why your ex isn’t pushing for a divorce.
How Your Spouse Could Benefit From a Long-Term Separation
Your Spouse Could Move
Not getting that divorce as soon as you could allows your spouse to move out of state, or even out of the country. While this may not necessarily sound like a bad idea, it could potentially hurt you, as divorce laws vary from state to state. And if your ex moves out of the country, you could find yourself in the middle of a serious divorce mess, depending on the country’s divorce regulations.
Alimony Laws May Change
If you plan on seeking alimony from your spouse, it’s prudent to act now. Maryland alimony laws could change, which could mean you may not get the same amount you would have before, if you receive anything at all. Waiting around to finalize your divorce may mean less support for you and your family.
Your Standard of Living May Lower
Waiting to finalize a divorce is often financially draining. After all, instead of living off of two incomes which you’ve become used to doing, you’re now surviving on just one. As a result, your living expenses may lower, which could mean you would receive less alimony than you would before. Additionally, court and other legal fees incurred over the course of a few years can drain your bank accounts
Your Spouse Could Hide Assets
In divorce, spouses usually have to split their assets, such as property, homes, vehicles, investment accounts, and the like. This requires you to speak with your lawyer and work out who gets what during the divorce. However, when you stay separated for years at a time, this gives your ex the opportunity to hide certain assets, so that he or she doesn’t have to potentially give them to you.
Your Spouse Could Take Your Money
If you and your ex are living apart during your long-term separation, you probably don’t have any idea about his or her finances. For instance, you don’t know what your ex is earning, investing in, selling, or buying. This information is relevant to you because he or she could be using your name and information to rack up debt, which can hurt you and your credit score.
You’ll Have Time to Meet Someone New
Although Maryland is a no-fault state, having a relationship with someone else while you are still legally married isn’t a good idea, as it could be used against you in court. The longer you and your spouse put off your divorce, the higher your chances are of meeting someone new, which could work out in your ex’s favor.
Speed Up Your Maryland Divorce
If you are ready to proceed with divorce, but your former spouse wants to delay, you do have options. The first step in receiving your divorce is separation for at least one year, which means you are living in different households and have abstained from intimate relations.
Next, you’ll need to file for a Complaint of Absolute Divorce, which is your notice of intent to divorce. This is where you can make requests for alimony and child support. Once served, your spouse has 30 days to respond if he or she lives in Maryland, 60 days if living out of state, and 90 days if living out of the country.
If your ex has received the Complaint of Absolute Divorce but declines to sign the papers, you can file for an Order of Default with the court. Doing so typically allows you to proceed with the divorce, even without the cooperation of your spouse.
Going through a divorce is difficult for just about anyone, but attempting to do it alone makes the situation that much worse. Having an attorney on your side to help fight for your rights and consult with you in the decision-making process can relieve some of the burden and stress you may be feeling.
Contact the divorce lawyers of Jimeno & Gray, P.A., to discuss your situation and learn about how we can help you. Request your free copy of the book What Your Spouse Doesn’t Want You to Know: The Ultimate Guide to Divorce in Maryland, written by attorney Frank Gray, when you call.