Legal Separation

Asked over 6 years ago - Lanham, MD

Can you live in the same house for a year and still have a legal separation

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James J Gross

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    Contributor Level 8

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    Answered . Separation is used in three different contexts in Maryland.

    (1) Physical separation is grounds for divorce but it has to be under separate roofs. There are other grounds, such as cruelty or adultery, which can be brought even if you are living together.

    (2) A Limited Divorce, which is a legal proceeding, is called a Legal Separation in some states. The Ricketts case said you could maintain a limited divorce action based on constructive desertion even if you are living together.

    (3) You can have a Separation Agreement while you are still living together, which can give you almost everything a divorce can give you except te right to remarry.

  2. James J Gross

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Separation is used in three different contexts in Maryland.

    (1) Physical separation is grounds for divorce but it has to be under separate roofs. There are other grounds, such as cruelty or adultery, which can be brought even if you are living together.

    (2) A Limited Divorce, which is a legal proceeding, is called a Legal Separation in some states. The Ricketts case said you could maintain a limited divorce action based on constructive desertion even if you are living together.

    (3) You can have a Separation Agreement while you are still living together, which can give you almost everything a divorce can give you except te right to remarry.

  3. Marshall William Waller

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . This can be a rather complicated question. Thje laws vary dramatically state by state, and please remember that I am an attorney licensed to p[ractice oin California only. As such, this information here is just that: information - NOT legal advice. In California, parties can be separated while still living in the same house; it all depends on the particular foacts of the situation, facts that the court will need to learn and then sift through. In Maryland, I believe that there is a distinction between an "absolute divorce" (a regular "final" divorce) and a "limited divorce" (what I believe we might consider a "legal separation"). This issue was recently reviewed by a Maryland Appellate Court in the Ricketts case. In that casse, they mentioned that "The fact that the spouses sleep in separate bedrooms or that they have ceased engaging in sexual relations does not per se establish constructive desertion, however.... Additionally, when a husband and wife continue to live together without marital relations and yet neither makes any effort towards reconciliation, it is presumed that both spouses prefer to live under such circumstances, and, therefore, neither has a cause for divorce on the grounds of constructive desertion. Davey v. Davey, 202 Md. 428, 432, 96 A.2d. 606, 608 (1953)." The best advice I can give you here is to consult a Maryland attorney.

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