New Ground for Divorce (April 18th, 2011)

During the 2011 legislative session, a significant change was made to Maryland law concerning divorce. The amount of time parties must have lived separate and apart without cohabitation and without interruption before filing a complaint for divorce in court has been reduced from 24 months to 12 months. The ground for divorce of  “voluntary separation” was repealed. The practical impact of this will be that one spouse can no longer frustrate the other’s desire for a divorce by not agreeing to the separation.

Now, once the law takes effect, there will no longer be a distinction between the waiting periods for divorce for voluntary or involuntary separations and both parties do not have to agree to the separation.  As long as you are separated, i.e. not living in the same house and continuing with marital relations, either spouse may file a complaint for absolute divorce after twelve months.