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Experienced Lawyers Explain The Possible Impact Of Sex On Divorce In Maryland

Whether you are legally separated or considering a divorce, you may be concerned about your right to have sex during divorce, when you can have sex after divorce and when you can resume dating. Our lawyers at Trevillian Law can guide you through this sensitive area of the law, advising you on the restrictions of intimacy to ensure your divorce proceedings will not be negatively compromised.

No-Fault Absolute Divorce: The Only Kind In Maryland

In Maryland, absolute divorce is the final termination of a marriage. It is the only variety of divorce in this state and does not require either spouse to prove fault on the part of the other spouse. To file for an absolute divorce, you must provide evidence of one or more of the following:

  • You and your spouse have lived apart for six months or more (possibly under one roof if certain conditions are met).
  • Either of you affirms that there are irreconcilable differences.
  • The two of you have reached mutual consent about property division, spousal support and child custody, if applicable, and have signed a settlement agreement.
  • You have submitted child support calculations and agreed to an arrangement that conforms with them.

Sex with your spouse can affect fulfillment of the six-month separation qualification for divorce. Even if you believe divorce is on the horizon but is still uncertain, you should get legal counsel to help ensure that you are positioning yourself to keep your option to file for divorce open.

Legal Separation, What Is It?

Legal separation refers to spouses that are no longer living together pursuant to the terms of an agreement. Such agreements are often referred to as a “Separation Agreement”, a “Voluntary Legal Separation Agreement”, or a “Post-Nuptial Agreement (Postnup)”. These agreements are signed after the parties have married and outline how assets will be divided upon divorce. When a divorce is granted the agreement becomes part of the divorce decree. Do not confuse a legal separation with being what some people refer to as ‘separated’ from their spouse. Separated just means that you are not living together and have not resolved any asset issues.

Depending on the terms of a legal separation, you can enter into romantic relationships and purchase assets without them becoming marital. Simply being separated provides no legal protection to claims made by your estranged spouse.

Can Sex With My Spouse Delay Or Stop Divorce?

Yes. During your six-month separation period prior to your absolute divorce, you cannot engage in sexual relations with your spouse even if the two of you have remained under one roof. If you reconnect with your spouse in a sexual way, your six-month separation period restarts, meaning that you will have to wait six more months from the date the sex occurred to obtain a divorce.

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