We are ready to separate, what do I have to file to make it official? Nothing. In Maryland, there is no filing or legal document that commences a marital separation. All that is required is for the parties to cease cohabitation, i.e. living together under the same roof as husband and wife. While that may be the case, I strongly encourage my clients to (1) consult with counsel prior to moving out, and (2) if possible, negotiate a separation agreement, even a temporary or interim one, prior to moving out, especially if there are minor children involved. The point in time prior to a marital separation can be a period of tremendous tension in a home, and it is important to know your legal rights, and those of your children, prior to negotiating the arrangements for paying expenses and visitation of the children after the separation period begins. Alex Allman is a Principal attorney in the firm’s Baltimore office. Mr. Allman focuses his practice in the areas of family law and civil litigation. He can be reached at 410.209.6438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.