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Can I File for Divorce While Living With My Spouse?
Under certain limited circumstances, you can file for divorce while still living with your spouse.
A spouse can file for an absolute divorce on grounds of adultery while still living together. A spouse can file for a limited or absolute divorce on grounds of abuse (known as "excessively vicious conduct" or "cruelty of treatment") while still living together.
However, in Maryland, before parties are granted a divorce, the Court does not have jurisdiction to grant child custody, support or use and possession of the family home while the parties reside together.
Therefore, if a spouse needs to obtain custody, support or use and possession relief before the divorce, the parties must live in separate residences.
Maryland Family Law recognizes eight different grounds for divorce. Adultery, voluntary separation (for at least 12 months), imprisonment (with a sentence of at least three years and at least 12 months already served), and living separate and apart (for at least two years), are among some of the reasons. For the court to grant a divorce based upon any of these grounds, they must be proved in court through evidence and testimony.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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