Divorce in Maryland - No Cohabitation During the Process

As readers of this blog know, we have some celebrity-loving folks here at the law firm who are always happy to keep us informed about the latest happenings in celebrity family law! A divorce that had been brewing prior to the holidays exploded on TMZ and Twitter when famous former football player Deion Sanders filed for divorce from his wife Pilar after 12 years of marriage, reality shows, and a handful of kids!

First, Pillar claimed she found out about the divorce filing via the celebrity news website TMZ.com. Then Deion’s daughter from another mother called out Pilar on Twitter accusing her of being a bad wife, step-mom and person. Now comes news that while the divorce is on the 20 yard line, Mr. and Mrs. Sanders have decided to continue living together in their ginormous Texas mansion. The mansion is so big that Deion rides a scooter to get around in it!

So while it may be cost-effective to continue to live under the same roof while working through the divorce process, in Maryland this type of living arrangement doesn’t work. No matter the state of the couple’s finances – and in this economy and housing market it isn’t surprising if it’s dismal – a divorcing couple cannot cohabitate. In order to meet the requirements for an absolute divorce, a couple must not live under the same roof for a period of one year uninterrupted. (The same is true about sexual relations.) If at any point during the one year separation the parties do spend the night together then the one year separation period starts again.

So Pilar and Deion Sanders may never even see each other in their reportedly 30,000 square foot mansion, but if they were in Maryland they would not be separated under the eyes of a family law judge. No cohabitation is a hard and fast rule in Maryland family law if a couple wants to divorce.

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