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.




Premarital, Prenuptial and Antenuptial Agrements

Premarital, Prenuptial or antenuptial agreements are synonymous. These agreements refer to a contract between two persons planning to marry which governs the rights and liabilities of the parties, such as terms of possession of assets, debts, treatment of future earnings, control of property of each and potential division in case of divorce or the death of one spouse. They may even determine whether spousal maintenance (alimony) is paid. These agreements are fairly common and increasing in popularity as more people are getting married later for the first time or if either or both parties have substantial assets, children from a prior marriage, potential inheritances, high incomes, or have been “taken” by a prior spouse.
Custody and/or child support issues are not affected since such determinations must be made based on a best interests of the child standard and subject to court review.
A premarital agreement acts as a safeguard for both you and your spouse-to-be. It protects your assets and may prevent expensive and acrimonious litigation if a divorce should occur by defining the rights and responsibilities of the parties in advance. With today’s divorce rate hovering around 50%, a prenuptial agreement may be one of the most prudent decisions in your life. This is particularly true for business owners who may wish to preserve what they have worked so hard to build.
Prenuptial Agreements are valid in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It doesn’t matter whether the state is a community property state or an equitable distribution state.
A Postnuptial Property Agreement is a contract between the spouses after marriage with the intent to define and specify the respective and collective rights of the parties in the separate and joint property of the parties.