Maryland divorce law requires some divorcing spouses to undergo 12 consecutive months of legal separation before an absolute divorce can be granted. When you talk to a divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn, you can find out whether you may have grounds to divorce sooner than this or if you need a separation agreement. A legal separation is not the same as a divorce; separated spouses are still legally married . However, the separation agreement is still a legally binding document that can resolve the same issues that arise during a divorce, such as a child custody and property division.
During the 12 consecutive months of separation, the spouses must maintain separate residences and abstain from sexual relations with each other. If these conditions are breached, then the period of separation must begin again if the spouses are still intent on divorcing. There is no requirement to finalize the divorce; a legal separation may end in reunification.