One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear is How long must I be separated before I can get divorced? People are often discouraged when they hear the answer. In Maryland, in most cases, you need a 12 month separation before you can obtain a a divorce.
But, there is good news. The wait may be over!
On April 13, 2015, the Maryland General Assembly passed Bill 472, which will allow parties without children to bypass the current 12 month separation requirement to obtain a no-fault divorce. This bill will permit parties to divorce on a “mutual consent” ground if they have a written separation agreement that resolves issues related to alimony and marital property.
Under the new law, both spouses in a "no fault" divorce would jointly file a complaint for absolute divorce, which would include an affidavit of each parties’ consent to the divorce, and a fully-executed written settlement agreement. Both spouses would also be required to be present when a judge grants their divorce and there would be no waiting period.
Although Governor Hogan has not yet signed the new bill, if enacted, it would go into effect on October 1, 2015.
For divorcing couples, who are able to reach agreement, the new bill has the potential to save both time and money. Families without children could participate in mediation, negotiation, or Collaborative to resolve disputes and proceed with a quick, uncontested divorce based upon their mutual consent.
The Law Office of Shelly M. Ingram, LLC offers mediation, co-mediation, negotiation, and Collaborative Services. We invite you to review our FAQs to learn more about how this new law might streamline your divorce. To get answers to your unique legal questions or to speak with an attorney, please feel free and to contact the Law Office of Shelly Ingram at (301) 658-7354 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to helping you find a solution that is the right fit for your family.