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In House 6 Months Separation (New Law October 1, 2023)


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Commencing October 1, 2023, Maryland will now recognize irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce. In addition to this, Maryland will also recognize a separation of at least six (6) months, even if the parties are living under the same roof.


The current separation time limit in Maryland for an absolute divorce is one (1) year. Not only is the time period a lengthy one for parties who cannot afford separate residence(s), while still being financially responsible for the payment on the marital home, but this separation had to remain continuous and uninterrupted. This means spending one (1) night under the same roof would “reset the clock.” Commencing October 1, 2023, the period for separation to file an absolute divorce in Maryland will be reduced from one (1) year to six (6) months. This is terrific news! The more exciting news is this separation will not have to be one where the parties are living in separate residences to qualify for an absolute divorce in Maryland. Yes, you read that correctly. Maryland divorce law will now allow an absolute divorce where the parties are still living together, IF they can prove/show that they are pursuing separate lives. The pursuit of separate lives can be proved in many ways. Basically, a roommate situation may be enough for the court. Each Judge will interpret and apply the new Maryland absolute divorce law differently, but the fact that parties are still living in the same home will no longer prohibit them from filing for an absolute divorce in Maryland.

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