Is a Separation Period Required for Grounds of Divorce in Maryland?
In Maryland, you can obtain a divorce on several different grounds and the required separation time of the spouses is different based on the ground of divorce. The grounds of “separation” and “desertion” each require you and your spouse to live separate and apart for one year. The grounds of “mutual consent” “adultery,” “cruelty,” and “excessive vicious conduct” do not require any requisite separation time. The ground of “insanity” requires the insane spouse being confined to a hospital or institution for at least three years and the ground of “felony or misdemeanor conviction” requires that the criminal defendant spouse be sentenced for at least three years and have served one year of that sentence.
Is a Corroborating Witness Required for Grounds of Divorce in Maryland?
The only ground of divorce that does not require a corroborating witness is the “mutual consent” ground. If you and your spouse do not have minor children in common (i.e. never had children together or your children are emancipated) and you have executed a written settlement agreement signed by both spouses that resolves all issues, then not only do you not have to wait for any separation period to pass but you also do not need a corroborating witness.
On the other hand, if you and your spouse have minor children in common and/or you do not have a signed settlement agreement, then you need to wait the requisite separation time of one year and have a corroborating witness, other than your spouse, to prove your separation and the other uncontested facts.
For Help with Maryland Grounds of Divorce, Contact Andalman & Flynn
Of course, whether your case is contested or uncontested, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to understand and protect your rights. Even an uncontested divorce or the simplest Separation Agreement can trigger unintended tax consequences or other unfortunate surprises. To schedule a consultation with me, please call 301-563-6685 or email me at [email protected].
Mary Ellen Flynn has over 27 years of experience as a Family Law Attorney in all areas of family law including divorce, domestic violence, custody, and child support. She has the highest attorney ratings by both Martindale-Hubell (“AV Preeminent”®) and Avvo (“10″) and has been recognized by Super Lawyers in Maryland every year since 2008.
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