One of the first steps in the divorce process is the establishment of a date of separation.But why is it important, and how can you ensure that you’ve done it correctly?To get a divorce in Maryland, even based separation, the spouse seeking the divorce (the plaintiff) still has to prove to the judge that the requirements for the divorce are met.

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A separation date may be crucial to your divorce case for a number of reasons.

First, if you don’t have a fault basis for your complaint (adultery, cruelty, desertion, constructive desertion, etc.), then your separation date will determine when you can file for divorce.

For a divorce on the basis of “voluntary separation,” the plaintiff also has to prove to the judge that both spouses agreed to separate and there’s no reasonable chance of reconciliation.

Sometimes a couple may not know if they really want to get a divorce.

Spouses are also prevented from negatively impacting marital property during a limited divorce.

A limited divorce is often used when spouses can’t settle the issues of their divorce themselves – it gives the spouses time to live apart and try to work out the terms of the divorce or reconcile.First, a separation agreement fixes the rights and responsibilities of the spouses between each other and forms a binding contract even before a judge enters a Judgment of Divorce. Second, in the case of a voluntary separation, a separation agreement proves that both spouses agreed to the separation. In contrast, after two years of separation for any reason, even if one spouse has not agreed to the separation and does not want to end the marriage, the other spouse can still obtain a divorce on the grounds of two years of separation. Remember, even though spouses live in different homes during separation, they are still married until a judge enters a Judgment of Divorce.This period of separation is necessary in order to eventually obtain a no-fault divorce.The grounds for a limited divorce in Maryland are: In Maryland, separation is the only “no-fault” ground for divorce.