Every relationship and marriage goes through ups and downs. In cases where spouses are not able to overcome marital strife and challenges, they may choose to legally separate. Frequently, married couples in Maryland who plan to eventually divorce will file for a legal separation.

Barring legal grounds for an expedited absolute divorce, like adultery or abuse, Maryland divorce law requires that a couple lives apart for at least one year before a divorce can be granted. For individuals who are unhappy in a marriage and certain about divorce, twelve months can seem like a very long time.

While the 12-month separation period provides an individual with time and physical space away from a spouse, he or she is still legally married. Therefore attempting to sort out matters related to child custody, spousal support, marital property and shared assets and debts can be difficult.

This is often especially true in cases where a separation is contentious and spouses are not on good terms. To help mitigate potential problems and define each spouse’s responsibilities and rights, an attorney may advise that a couple draft and sign a separation agreement.

Attorney Margaret Oliver and her team of skilled family law attorneys have helped many clients successfully navigate the legal separation and divorce process. When it comes to legal separations, every client has specific concerns and the attorneys at Margaret H. Oliver, LLC work diligently to ensure that matters related to alimony, child custody and visitation and the division of marital property and debts are addressed.