Legal separation does not exist under Maryland law. A “limited divorce” in Maryland is similar to what is called a “legal separation” in many other states. In a limited divorce, you are still legally married and cannot remarry. People who for cultural, personal or religious reasons do not want to get an absolute divorce sometimes opt for a limited divorce instead.
Maryland law provides that a husband and wife can make an enforceable separation agreement that deals with such issues as alimony and division of property. The agreement is a contract, and is subject to the principles of contract law.
For example, if one of the spouses signed the separation agreement as a result of fraud or duress, the agreement is not valid. Similarly, if the terms of the agreement are shockingly unfair, it’s unenforceable. The family law attorneys at Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C. can help you negotiate a separation agreement that’s enforceable and protects your interests.
Under Maryland law, the provisions of a separation agreement dealing with the distribution of property do not automatically terminate when there’s a reconciliation. So if you and your spouse decide to get back together after signing a separation agreement, you should consult an experienced family law attorney about whether you should take steps to void or modify the agreement.
Generally, the court will approve the terms of a separation agreement during the divorce hearing. When that occurs, the agreement survives as an independent contract between the parties.
The family law attorneys at Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C. can answer your questions about absolute divorce, limited divorce and separation agreements. Call us at 301-631-0592, or contact us online today. Our Maryland attorneys represent individuals and families throughout Frederick, Montgomery, Washington and Howard counties.