A few years ago, Maryland updated its antiquated divorce laws to allow a couple to file for divorce without waiting the statutory one year of separation. To comply with that law three (3) conditions, need to be met:
- The couple had no joint minor or dependent children.
- The parties had executed a Marital Separation Agreement which resolved all financial issued
- Both parties appeared before a Judge, Magistrate or Court Examiner for divorce testimony.
Effective October 2018 a couple may now file for an immediate divorce even if they have minor or dependent children provided the Marital Septation Agreement includes a resolution of custody, access (formerly referred to as visitation) and child support as well as the financial issues. Both parties must still appear before the court for divorce testimony. This new law allows for those parties who have settled all matters to proceed immediate to divorce. No waiting period, other than normal court processing time.
A potential “down side” to this legislation is a concern that one party may push for a quick resolution to get a faster divorce. You should always consult a competent, experienced and knowledgeable Maryland family law attorney before entering into any negotiations or a final agreement. Once signed it is difficult, if not impossible to make changes. Contact the Law Office onNicholas T. Exarhakis for a free telephone consultation should you have any questions.