Can I Get Married (To Someone Else) After Signing My Separation Agreement?
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce in order for you to get married to someone else, you still have something to resolve as a couple- your separation (divorce) agreement. Divorce agreements become lawfully obligatory papers that must be approved by the court system before your marriage is terminated lawfully depending on your state. Generally, until your divorce agreement is settled or your divorce process isn't completed yet, then you are still considered married and you cannot marry again lawfully before your present marriage is terminated even if you are already going through a divorce process.
The law in Maryland considers marriage to be a common agreement between spouses, and this bond can be dissolved only by a court order. Once the court has authoritatively dissolved the marriage, which is regularly at the ending of the divorce case, Maryland law has no limitations regarding re-marriage. Nevertheless, in Maryland two types of divorce are commonly recognized, which might cause difficulties when fighting for an ultimate end divorce.
In this type of divorce your marriage is in total break up. You are officially free to get married to someone else after the judge comes into the divorce decree; both you and your spouse are considered lawfully single if you desire. Though, your divorce decree might be full of declarations that change your settlements if you remarry. If you don't have grounds for the absolute divorce, you might file for a limited divorce temporarily, to establish grounds for your absolute divorce.
For absolute divorce, there are seven grounds for a court to award an absolute divorce:
(New as of 10/1/2015) If the Parties have no children together, have a written settlement agreement and come to court together and both state they want the divorce
One year separation
Criminal conviction of a felony or misdemeanor
Limited divorce is almost the same to a legal separation. A limited divorce does not end a marriage, but, so a spouse cannot remarry after a limited divorce order is entered. This might be confusing, since a limited divorce deal with many of the same problems that an absolute divorce deal with — except the marriage remains lawfully together. If you have sexual act with someone else during a limited divorce, it is considered adultery and this might provide grounds for your spouse to file for absolute divorce.
For a limited divorce, there are four grounds for a court to award a limited divorce:
Too much cruelty
Desertion (construction and actual)
Cruelty (against the child of the complaining spouse and/or against the complaining party)
Even though any of these grounds is sufficient for a limited divorce, a limited divorce will not totally end your married status. In order to do so you have to either look for an absolute divorce or an annulment (termination).
In a situation where you intentionally remarry before you have a final, absolute divorce decree, it is considered as “bigamy”, which is a law breaking criminal charge in Maryland. If you are convicted, your prison term could be nine years in jail.