Does "Legal Separation" exist in Maryland?
How many people have told you that they are "legally separated?" There is no such thing! The closest thing that Maryland has is called a limited divorce, and those are few and far between these days. A limited divorce is a judgment that says that husband and wife may live separate and apart. The court can order child support and alimony, but it can't do anything about a couple's property.
That person may be talking about having a separation agreement, which is a contract that may memorialize a date of separation and usually says that the parties are free to live without interference from each other. More important, the agreement addresses all of the financial and child related issues that arise from a separation/divorce. Before the divorce, it is just a legally enforceable contract, but after the divorce, it becomes part of the judgment of absolute divorce and a court not only can enforce it as a contract, it has contempt power over certain provisions pertaining to child support and alimony.
-Stephanie Fink, Esq.