Mutual and Voluntary Not Required
Before Maryland amended the one-year-of-separation ground for divorce, the separation had to be both mutual and voluntary. In other words, both spouses had to agree to the separation -- and both spouses had to agree voluntarily. Thus, even when the spouses lived apart from each other and had no sexual relations for a year, one of the spouses could block the divorce by claiming that he did not agree to the separation and did not separate voluntarily. Now, a mere separation, without regard to the spouses' intents, makes true no-fault divorce possible in Maryland.