But why is it important, and how can you ensure that you’ve done it correctly?A separation date may be crucial to your divorce case for a number of reasons.
Before we move on to the grounds for divorce, it's important to understand that in Maryland, there are two kinds of divorce: “limited divorce” and “absolute divorce.
A “limited divorce” authorizes spouses to live in separate homes and get court orders about some financial and custody issues. That means neither spouse can remarry or have sexual relations with another person (that is adultery).
In Maryland, the terms “separation” and “divorce” are sometimes used interchangeably.
However, “separation” and “divorce” have different legal meanings in Maryland and you should try not to confuse them. “Separation” is not the same thing as “divorce.” Separation is just one “ground,” or reason, for divorce in Maryland (explained fully below).
In contrast, to obtain an absolute divorce on the grounds of voluntary separation, spouses have to meet the following requirements: To obtain an absolute divorce on the grounds of “two years of separation,” spouses have to live in separate homes and not have sex for at least two years (or 24 months) before filing for divorce.
The distinction between the two forms of separation is the voluntariness requirement.
In some jurisdictions (such as Fairfax County), regardless of fault grounds, you will not be scheduled for an equitable distribution divorce trial until beyond the statutory time period.
Second, your date of separation will have an impact on the marital, separate or hybrid nature of financial accounts, retirement accounts, and other property.
Alternatively, if one party vacates the marital home and informs her spouse of her intention to seek a divorce, this will also do the trick.
However, oftentimes, to benefit the children or out of economic necessity, separating parties will elect to remain under the same roof at first.
There are two types of separation grounds in Maryland: “voluntary separation” and “two years of separation.” To obtain a divorce in Maryland on the basis of “voluntary separation” for a limited divorce, spouses only have to voluntarily live in separate homes, refrain from having sex with each other, and have no reasonable hope of reconciliation.