Filing for Maryland Divorce Based on 1 Year of Voluntary Separation
Every state is different when it comes to divorce and Maryland is no exception. The term separation can have different meanings, depending on where you live, and if you’re seeking a Maryland divorce, a Glen Burnie divorce attorney can help you understand how separation in Maryland plays into the process.
Perhaps you and your spouse have been at odds for some time or the marriage has been disintegrating for the past several months, if not years. Since Maryland divorce laws can make the process expensive and time consuming, it may help to know if you and your spouse are able to part ways amicably, you may be able to pursue divorce based on voluntary separation in Maryland.
Voluntary Separation in Maryland: What is Needed to File for Divorce
There are 2 crucial components of a voluntary separation if you wish to file for what is known as absolute divorce in Maryland. According to Maryland divorce laws, absolute divorce allows you and your spouse to completely dissolve the marriage and remarry, so it’s really the more beneficial option.
In order to obtain divorce on the grounds of voluntary separation in Maryland, you’ll need to:
- live in separate residences for a year and not engage in sexual intimacy with one another at all during that time; and
- have a separation agreement (also referred to as a marital settlement agreement or property settlement agreement).
While your separation agreement may be written or spoken, it is at the core of your Maryland divorce. It actually serves as evidence of your grounds for a Maryland divorce, which means you can’t begin the proceedings without it.
Understanding What is Included In a Separation Agreement
When you and your spouse seek divorce based on voluntary separation in Maryland, you may want to speak with a Glen Burnie divorce attorney. While you don’t have to opt for a written separation agreement, many couples choose to do so. In fact, since a number of important factors of your Maryland divorce are covered in a separation agreement, it really would not be advisable to attempt to draft your own agreement without the help of a Glen Burnie divorce attorney.
If you do, you risk forgetting important details that could hurt your future after your separation in Maryland and divorce proceedings are complete.
For instance, some of the items a Glen Burnie divorce attorney will cover in your agreement include:
- Maryland child custody;
- spousal support concerns;
- health insurance benefits; and
- property division.
Proceeding with Caution During Your Voluntary Separation in Maryland
It’s important to remember your separation agreement does not give you or your spouse the right to remarry or engage in sexual intimacy with another person during your one year separation. This is because while your separation agreement is needed in tandem with your year apart, it does not end your marriage in and of itself.
A Glen Burnie divorce attorney will caution you that if you do engage in any of these activities, it constitutes adultery, which is a fault grounds for Maryland divorce that may impact your child custody arrangement and financial future.
In addition, your Glen Burnie divorce attorney will warn you that if you and your spouse move back in together or resume sexual intimacy at all during your voluntary separation, you could jeopardize your grounds for Maryland divorce. While living together during your separation in Maryland doesn’t automatically revoke your agreement, it does serve as proof that you intended to revoke it. While this is convenient in the case of reconciliation, it could provide unneeded hang-ups in your Maryland divorce proceedings.
While divorce based on voluntary separation in Maryland is typically cheaper and less time consuming than a contested divorce, it helps to have an awareness of Maryland divorce laws when you wish to move on with a new start in life.
Contacting a Glen Burnie Divorce Attorney
Our attorneys want to help with the legal process of your divorce. We have helped many others like you with the legal battles that come with divorce. Let us get things started now, give us a ring!