Legal Separation Archives | Annapolis Family Law Blog
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Legal Separation Archives

Maryland's options for those seeking a legal separation

Many couples arrive at our office seeking a non-divorce solution to their marital issues. Often, they are looking to initiate a legal separation but there is a problem with this request—legal separations as most people understand them do not exist in Maryland. It can take the wind right out of a couple's sails when they find out that the solution they thought was right for them is not an option. We hope this post will clear up the confusion about legal separation in Maryland because we believe that an informed client makes better decisions.

Build a divorce team to support emotional and legal needs

Divorce may be an event that involves two spouses, but there are many more people who will play a role in the transition from married to single. One of the most powerful steps that any Maryland resident can take is creating a circle of influence to provide advice and support as this transition takes place. Divorce may be deeply personal, but it is also a process that can benefit from a team approach.

Take your time during separation and/or divorce

Couples in Maryland who decide to separate are often thrown into a period of uncertainty. In many cases, a separation is initiated before one or both spouses are completely committed to the idea of a divorce. This can lead to a high level of emotional distress as each partner considers the marriage and whether to reconcile or move forward with divorce. When moving through the process of separation, it is important to maintain the proper perspective, so that the best possible decision can be made.  

Differences between legal and trial separation

When a Maryland couple is having trouble in their marriage, they may go through a trial or legal separation before deciding if they want to divorce. While a trial separation is considered by the law to be no different than simply being married, a legal separation is another matter. A legal separation is not as binding or permanent as a divorce, but the matters of child support, property division and spousal maintenance may come up.

Guidelines for separation

Couples in Maryland may want to pursue separation either prior to or instead of a divorce. Depending on the grounds for divorce that are being cited, it may be necessary to spend a period of time separated before proceeding with the divorce.

Maryland separation agreements

In Maryland, the law allows married couples who do not believe they will be able to reconcile to enter into separation agreements. Such agreements can be oral or in writing, and they can later be used as evidence supporting grounds for a requested divorce by either or both parties.

Which form of divorce is right for you?

A couple that intends to file for divorce in Maryland can choose either a limited or absolute divorce. Since both forms of divorce may differ in their execution and the grounds under which they may be authorized, it is important to understand their differences in order to decide what is best for your particular circumstances.

Mutual and voluntary separation in Maryland divorces

Maryland residents thinking about divorce should first know a few things before undertaking such an important step. First of all, you must be a Maryland resident to even be considered for divorce. That means that you must have resided within the state for at least one year before filing. It is also important to note that either party can file a divorce petition in whichever Maryland County they currently reside.

Domestic violence may remove need for separation before divorce

On July 15, Massachusetts Gov. Martin O'Malley addressed an audience of roughly 90 religious leaders in Annapolis. The event, which was held at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, marks the second anniversary of a statewide initiative aimed at reducing the frequency of domestic violence in Massachusetts. The governor's administration hopes to convince religious leaders to get the message out to their congregations about the damage that domestic violence and other crimes against women and children does to the community.

Cambridge, Maryland, woman chooses legal separation over divorce

If you have been following Maryland politics, then you are probably aware by now that state Senator Richard Colburn and his wife of 14 years, Alma Colburn, have split. Alma filed for divorce back in December 2013, citing adultery as the cause. The Colburn case recently gained notoriety after a judge agreed to seal the divorce documents from public view. At that Feb. 7 hearing, Alma revealed that she had been approached to run for her husband's District 37 Senate seat. Upon hearing that, the judge decided to keep the divorce papers confidential until after the Feb. 25 election filing deadline had passed.

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