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Divorce Lawyers

Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law



Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

News and comments about divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, equitable property distribution, father’s rights, mother’s rights, family law, laws on divorce and other legal information in Maryland.

The Meaning of Separation

The word “separation” causes some confusion because it is used in three different contexts in Maryland.

1. Separation is one of the no-fault grounds for divorce in Maryland. It can be voluntary separation for one year, meaning you both agree, or involuntary separation for two years, meaning one of you disagrees. In this context separation means physical separation or living in two different places.

2. A separation agreement is a written contract between spouses. It is a marital settlement agreement resolving all issues of the marriage and divorce.

3. People sometimes use the term “legal separation.” In the District of Columbia, a legal separation is a court proceeding to establish temporary support or visitation. In Maryland, we have a similar proceeding, but it is called a limited divorce.


3 Responses to “The Meaning of Separation”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Is number 1 really true in light of Ricketts v. Ricketts?

  2. Legal Separation, Separate Maintenance Says:

    You have a helpful site.

  3. James J. Gross Says:

    Number 1 is still true. Ricketts permitted a spouse to file a complaint for divorce based on “constructive desertion” while living in the same house but separate bedrooms. Likewise you could file a divorce based on grounds of “adultery” while living together. But you cannot maintain a divorce based on grounds of “separation” while still living together.

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