There has been a significant change in Maryland law that gives residents an option to obtain a divorce without any waiting period and without having to prove fault. Previously, someone seeking an absolute, or final, divorce had to prove adultery or usually be separated for at least one year. That often created a hardship as adultery is difficult to prove, and having to live separate and apart can have a severe economic impact on the parties.
As of October 1, 2015, that all changed as parties wishing to obtain a divorce may do so by mutual consent. This new ground for divorce is available to parties if all of the following four conditions are met:
The parties cannot have any minor children in common;
The parties must have a written settlement agreement, signed by both parties, that resolves all issues relating to alimony and the distribution of property;Neither party can file a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing; and
Both parties must appear before the court at the absolute divorce hearing.
If all of the above conditions are present, parties can obtain a divorce as soon as the settlement agreement is signed. This allows divorcing couples to plan ahead and move on with their lives quickly and separately without having to wait twelve months as was so often the case.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about a divorce or are in need of our services.