New Maryland No Fault Divorce Law effective October 1, 2011

 

 

Maryland currently has two “no-fault”

 

grounds for an absolute divorce: a mutual and

 

voluntary separation of one year, or a separation

 

of two years. As of October 1, 2011, the new

 

law eliminates voluntary separation as a ground

 

for absolute divorce and shortens the

 

period the parties must be living separate and apart

 

from two years to one year.

 

This is a major change in Maryland Divorce Law. It shortens

 

the time a spouse, who does not have an

 

agreement to separate or a fault ground for

 

divorce, has to wait for a divorce to one year

 

down from two years.

 

Maryland’s  no fault ground requires

 

that there be no sexual relations during the one

 

year separation and that both spouses live in separate

 

residences for the entire year.

 

 

 

About Maryland Family and Real Estate Law
General information and commentary on child custody, support, divorce, separation, visitation, real estate, landlord/tenant and loss mitigation

9 Responses to New Maryland No Fault Divorce Law effective October 1, 2011

  1. Pingback: New Maryland No Fault Divorce Law effective October 1, 2011 … | Hallmark Quotes

  2. Travis says:

    To be clear – No separation agreement is required?
    When filing under the new law, can the divorce be contested, preventing the process to move forward?
    What do yo do if your spouse lies in court about sexual relations that did not occur? How does either side prove their case, if its a each is stating the opposite point, with no proof, other than their word?
    Is a witness required to prove that you lived separately or does an lease agreement suffice?

    • a separation agreement is not required, but it is helpful to resolve all marital property issues. The change in the law, effectively makes Maryland a no fault divorce state after a one year separation: both parties living separate and apart in separate households for more than one year. You no longer need to prove a mutual and voluntary separation. This has no effect on marital property issues. It shortens the time for a no fault divorce from 2 years to 1 year.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Are there any situations where by the court acknowledges a separation of a couple if they stay in the same house but in separate rooms and no sexual contact for a year? Primarily to ease the separation for a child/ren and if one spouse is financially inferior to the other.

    • Maryland case law does allow a party to file for a limited divorce (legal separation) based upon constructive desertion while both spouses reside under
      one roof. However, Maryland law does not acknowledge or permit an absolute divorce until at least one party moves out and resides in another home for one year prior to filing for absolute divorce.
      In short, Maryland would only entertain a limited divorce action based upon constructive desertion and not a mutual and voluntary separation living in separate rooms of the same house (roof).
      Please call or email me to discuss in more detail.

  4. Lisa says:

    In Maryland

    Date of separation———————————————– 07/15/10
    Dated of filing for limited divorce——————————-10/15/10
    Date of Amended Complaint for Absolute Divorce————-12/05/11

    Based on the new law effective Oct 1 2011, how soon can my husband be granted a divorce based on construction desertion if it is not voluntary? (ie: involuntary separation)

    Under the old law when he originally filed for a limited divorce, he was required to wait for 24 months of involuntary separation, or until 08/22/12.

    Under the new law, the parties must have lived separate and apart for 12 months BEFORE THE FILING of the application for divorce, but the 12 months has already expired.

    My underlying question is whether amending his complaint causes it to fall under the new law, ie: only having to wait 12 months? Or is this entire case still governed by the old 24 month statute, because the case was originally filed – albeit for only a limited divorce – under the old law?

    If this case falls under the old law, then I need to know what needs to be filed with the court in order to stop the March merits hearing for final divorce?

  5. Lisa says:

    In Maryland

    Date of separation———————————————– 07/15/10
    Dated of filing for limited divorce——————————-10/15/10
    Date of Amended Complaint for Absolute Divorce————-12/05/11

    Based on the new law effective Oct 1 2011, how soon can my husband be granted a divorce based on construction desertion if it is not voluntary? (ie: involuntary separation)

    Under the old law when he originally filed for a limited divorce, he was required to wait for 24 months of involuntary separation, or until 08/22/12.

    Under the new law, the parties must have lived separate and apart for 12 months BEFORE THE FILING of the application for divorce, but the 12 months has already expired.

    My underlying question is whether amending his complaint causes it to fall under the new law, ie: only having to wait 12 months? Or is this entire case still governed by the old 24 month statute, because the case was originally filed – albeit for only a limited divorce – under the old law?

    If this case falls under the old law, then I need to know what needs to be filed with the court in order to stop the March merits hearing for final divorce?

  6. Xavier says:

    My children are adults. I plan to commit 90 percent of my salary to my spouse for two years. So there are no collateral issues to discuss. Still, she does not want a divorce, but I do.
    What can I do….and when?
    Thank you.

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