Thank you for your question.
Not exactly, no.
You do not need to file papers in Maryland in order to be “legally separated.” In order to establish that you are separated for the purposes of obtaining a divorce, you must:
Not reside under the same roof, and
Not engage in sexual intercourse with your spouse for the entire period of the separation through the date the divorce is granted.
The length of time you must be separated in order to file for divorce depends on the grounds for divorce:
If you are filing for divorce on the basis of desertion, constructive desertion, conviction of a felony or voluntary separation, the length of the separation must be at least 12 months.
If you are filing for divorce on the basis of adultery, cruelty of treatment or excessively vicious conduct the divorce may be filed at any time after separation.
If you are filing based on a two-year separation, you must be separated for two years.
If you are filing on the basis of insanity
, the insane spouse must have been committed to a mental institution for at least three years, and one of the spouses must have been a resident of Maryland for two years.
In other words, you aren't merely separated due to the fact you have not had sexual intercourse. You can live separate and apart for one another and abstain for sex for at least 12 months and then file for divorce on the grounds of voluntary separation, however.