Changes to Maryland Divorce Law on October 1, 2011

Today I was interviewed by WTOP Washington Radio regarding the changes to Maryland Divorce Law which will take effect on October 1. This change means that parties to a divorce in Maryland will not have to wait two years to file for divorce in the event one party does not agree to the separation as being "mutual and voluntary". In the past, a resident of Maryland could file a Complaint for Divorce on the grounds of a mutual and voluntary separation after a one year separation. If the other spouse objected to the mutual and voluntary nature of the separation, the filing could not occur until the parties had been separated for two years. The new law means that filing can occur after one year of separation, mutual and voluntary or not.

This new law is detrimental to those who wish to remain married to avail themselves of health insurance, PX/NEX or base privileges or additional contribution of marital retirement accounts. Additionally those with religious or moral objections to, or those who do not wish to be divorced, may find this new law detrimental. However this is a step toward conformity with many other states that require a mere 6 months separation before a no-fault divorce may be filed. As a note, this new law in Maryland does not affect other grounds upon which a divorce may be filed immediately, such as adultery. Need a lawyer for a divorce in Annapolis? Contact a Maryland divorce lawyer from our firm today.

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