If I am separated but it has been less than a year, can I file anything with the court?

Yes. Even if you do not have grounds for an Absolute Divorce, but you are separated, you have the right to file for custody, visitation, child support, alimony and/or use and possession of a home or car. You can also ask your spouse to contribute toward the mortgage before you have grounds for divorce. If you have any questions, you should call one of our Maryland divorce lawyers for a free consultation on any and all family law issues.

On October 1st, 2023, the Maryland legislature, after many years of trying by hardworking attorneys in the state of Maryland and other people, passed laws to change the "grounds for divorce". Grounds for divorce means the ability to get into a court and seek the relief that you want. 
 
Previously before the law changed, people were not able to get in to court for a divorce without being separated for more than a year or being able to prove some fault grounds. That's not the case anymore. You no longer need to be separated for a year in order to get a divorce. 
 
There are now three grounds for divorce as opposed to many other grounds for divorce that they had prior to October 1st, 2023. Here are the three grounds:
 
1) Irreconcilable Differences. If you and your spouse are not getting along and you state the reasons why, you can file for divorce based on irreconcilable difference. This ground is available even if you have not separated. 
 
2) Six-Month Separation. If you and your spouse have been separated for six months, you can file for divorce based on separation. The definition of "separation" under this ground has been broadened. Separation now includes living under the same roof so long as you can prove you have been pursuing lives as if you were separated (have separate finances, have a lack of communication, living only like roommates, etc.).
 
3) Mutual Consent. If you and your spouse submit a proper Marital Settlement Agreement to the court, you can file for divorce based on mutual consent.
 
If you have any questions about the new law or want to see if you qualify to file for divorce in Maryland, feel free to give us a call. Our divorce lawyers are available for free consultation 24/7!