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Towson Divorce Lawyer | Grounds For Divorce | Six-Month Separation.

Relentless Baltimore County Divorce Attorney 

Amar S. Weisman is a Top Family Lawyer and graduate of Georgetown University & University of Baltimore School of Law with 14 years of experience representing more than 1,000 clients with the following distinctions:  

Establishing Desertion As Grounds for Divorce in Maryland 

Effective October 1, 2023, Six-Month Separation constitutes grounds for an absolute divorce in Maryland as per Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 7-103(a)(1). According to this statute, a divorce based on separation is permissible if both parties have lived "separate and apart without interruption" for a period of six months preceding the filing of the Complaint for Absolute Divorce. Importantly, the six-month separation period must be complete before initiating a filing for divorce under this ground. Notably, the statute clarifies that living "separate and apart" does not necessarily require physical separation or residing under different roofs. Fam. Law § 7-103 explicitly states that parties are considered to have lived separately and apart for purposes of this section even if: (1) both parties continue to reside under the same roof, or (2) the separation occurs in compliance with a court order. Therefore, parties can technically fulfill the separation requirement while cohabiting, although this may introduce complexities into the divorce proceedings.

The Meaning of Residing Separately  

Insofar as the statute is brand new, there is no controlling case law determining what it means to reside separately. As a matter of judicially untested common sense, residing under separately under the same roof means separate bedrooms and no sexual relations during the "uninterrupted" six-month period prior to filing the Complaint for Absolute Divorce. The language allowing for there to be a separation "even if" there is a Court Order means that this grounds for absolute divorce can exist even if there has been a decree of limited divorce.  

The Old Grounds for Divorce 

The grounds for a one-year separation replaced the grounds of one-year separation that existed prior to October 1, 2023. 

Practical Considerations

As a practical consideration, it is generally inadvisable to continue residing with your spouse while undergoing divorce proceedings. Although the law does not prohibit cohabitation during this process, consulting both a legal professional and a mental health expert is crucial for assessing the potential emotional or legal ramifications of such an arrangement. If you choose to live under the same roof, be aware of the potential complexities this may introduce to your case.

Call For a Free Consultation with Top Towson Divorce Lawyer Amar S. Weisman  

To schedule a Free Consultation, please call (410) 321-4994. The primary aim of this consultation is to help you decide if you would like to retain the services of Amar S. Weisman. If you wish to move forward with legal representation, a retainer will be required; please refer to our Policy on Fees/Costs for further details. Our law firm is conveniently located adjacent to the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204. We serve clients across the Baltimore metropolitan area, including but not limited to: Aberdeen, Abingdon, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Carney, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Dundalk, Edgewood, Essex, Greenspring Valley, Hunt Valley, Lutherville, Owings Mills, Parkton, Parkville, Perry Hall, Pikesville, Reisterstown, Rodger's Forge, Rosedale, Sparks, Sparrows Point, Stoneleigh, Timonium, Towson, Westminster, and White Marsh.