Q: Looking for guidance on how to seek counsel and file for a legal separation vs. Divorce in Baltimore, County Maryland
A: You do not "file" for legal separation. You either file for divorce (if you meet the statutory grounds), or you and your spouse can sign a marital separation and property settlement agreement that resolves all your marital rights. Alternatively, you can just sign an agreement to voluntarily separate and reserve all marital property and support claims (the primary purpose in doing this is to remove any possible claim of abandonment, desertion, etc.). Or, you simply separate and wait the requisite time period; or file for limited divorce, which would ennable you to seek temporary custody, child and spousal support, and use and possession of the marital home if you have minor children, and wait until you have met the legal grounds for an absolute divorce. With a signed separation and property settlement agreement, however, there is no waiting period, and either one of you can immediately file for absolute divorce. The best advice is to make an appointment with a divorce lawyer and go over your options based on your circumstances, and make a plan that achieves the best possible solution for you and protects all your rights and property interests.
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