Posts Tagged ‘Senate Bill 139’

New Law Means Less Time for Divorce

A Bill that would tremendously change the waiting period for obtaining an absolute divorce in Maryland has been passed by both the House (House Bill 402) and Senate (Senate Bill 139) and is well on its way to becoming new law.

This bill amends the Maryland Family Law Article, Section 7-103 (a) and (c) to reduce from two years to 12 months, the period of time required for parties seeking an absolute divorce to live apart without cohabitation and without interruption before filing a Complaint for Absolute Divorce based on the grounds of involuntary separation.

Basically, the section underlined below will be eliminated from the current law and other provisions of Family Law 7-103 modified accordingly to allow for, in a sense, a one year separation, whether involuntary or voluntary.
If you think this isn’t big news, just ask someone who has had to wait two years to even file and start the process of obtaining a divorce!

Currently in Maryland a court may grant an absolute divorce on the following grounds:
• adultery;
• desertion, if the desertion is deliberate and final, has continued for 12 months without interruption, and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation;
• voluntary separation, if the parties have voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation;
• conviction of a felony or misdemeanor in any state or federal court, if the defendant has been sentenced to serve at least three years, or an indeterminate sentence, and has served 12 months of the sentence;
• two-year separation, when the parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for two years without interruption before the filing of the divorce application;
• insanity, as specified; or
• cruelty of treatment or excessively vicious conduct toward the complaining party or a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
The full text of the bill and how it changes the current law can be viewed at the following link:
As always, we here at Delaney & Keffler, LLC will take the time to fully explain the process and laws associated with Divorce and assist you in every way we can to make the process less painful. Contact us today at 410-535-3476 (FIRM) or for a free consultation.