New Maryland Divorce Law Changes Requirements for Separating Couples
New Maryland Divorce Law: Mutual Consent
(Columbia, MD) For many years, Maryland divorce law required that couples seeking divorce live separate and apart for 12 full months before they were eligible to become divorced. Many people found this delay to be difficult and costly. However, a new Maryland Divorce Law could change that for some people.
Historically, the 12-month waiting period applied regardless of whether the “grounds” or legal basis for divorce was desertion, abandonment or voluntary separation and even when the divorce was amicable and agreed upon by both parties. Maryland has long-recognized limited exceptions to this 12-month waiting period such as when adultery or abuse has been committed, or when one person in the marriage has been sentenced to a prison sentence of three years or more. For those couples who must wait a full year before filing for divorce, a brief resumption of “cohabitation” during the 12-month separation period—even if for only a single night, resets the “legal clock” and delays the divorce.
On Thursday October 1, 2015 a significant change in the law went into effect that can dramatically reduce the amount of time required to obtain a divorce in Maryland. For assistance in understanding the new law and whether or not it applies to your situation, call Coover Law Firm, LLC now to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. You can reach us at 410-995-1100.
Change to 12-Month Waiting Period for Couples Divorcing by “Mutual Consent”
The new Maryland divorce law permits couples without minor children to forego the one-year waiting period when the desire to divorce is mutual, as long as the couple can agree on how to split property. For those couples with minor children, the 12-month separation requirement remains the same under the new law, regardless of the couple’s willingness to separate from one another and resolve custody or property issues amicably.
How This New Maryland Divorce Law Will Affect Separated Couples
Eligible couples who are separated and want to divorce, may find that the new law is extremely advantageous. Under the new law, eligible couples seeking to bypass the one-year waiting period for divorce will need to do three principal things:
- Reach a written agreement reflecting the division of their marital property;
- Mutually agree to seek a divorce; and
- Jointly appear before the Court for a brief divorce hearing
The new law may well serve to engender a greater degree of cooperation between divorcing spouses.
Guidance from an Experienced Maryland Divorce Attorney
Fred L. Coover, Esquire is the founder and principal attorney at the Coover Law Firm, based in Howard County, Maryland. For over 30 years, Fred L. Coover has guided his clients through the challenging process of separation and divorce; provided experienced insight, compassion and emotional support; and assisted his clients in negotiating and resolving complicated marital issues and achieving divorce swiftly and efficiently.
To learn more, call Coover Law Firm, LLC now to schedule a free 30-minute no-obligation consultation with Howard County Divorce Lawyer Fred L. Coover, Esquire. You can reach us at 410-995-1100.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general educational & informational purposes only. It is not intended to convey legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.