Prior to October 2015, in order to obtain an absolute divorce in the State of Maryland on no-fault grounds, the divorcing couple was required to be living separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year. This changed effective October 1, 2015 when legislation was passed which allowed parties who still lived together to divorce if certain criteria was met.
There are basically three general avenues by which a marriage can end: death, divorce and annulment. Death is obvious and divorce is the most commonly thought of endpoint to a marriage when death does not terminate it first. The often less contemplated end to a marriage is by annulment.
In a recent decision, Santo v. Santo (citation not yet available), published July 11, 2016, the Maryland Court of Appeals confirmed a trial judge’s authority to award one party tie-breaking authority, for legal custody, even when parents have an inability to communicate on major decisions affecting the health, education, welfare, religion of a minor child. What does this mean in your case?
Clients regularly confuse what is considered “marital property” as opposed to “non-marital” property. Identifying marital versus non-marital property becomes even more difficult when non-marital property is commingled (or mixed) with marital property.
In Maryland and the District of Columbia, courts must determine what is in a child’s best interest to make a custody determination. This is a difficult process for the court, and is fraught with gray areas and ambiguities. Thus, the court may order a custody evaluation to assist in its decision making.
In 2016, everyone can be found on the internet—and by anyone! That includes the attorney of your soon to be ex. With social media embedded on our phones and intertwined throughout our lives, it is showing up in courtrooms and affecting custody cases, divorce proceedings, and other family law matters. Understand the rules of engagement before you post one more photo or seemingly harmless update.
On July 7, 2016 non-biological parents in Maryland won important rights with regard to custody and visitation. Prior to that date, Maryland did not recognize what is known as de facto parenthood. The opinion of the Maryland Court of Appeals in Conover v. Conover establishes recognition of de facto parents in Maryland. This is a major change in Maryland custody law.
If you have a child or children and you are separated, depending on the custody situation, you may be obligated to pay child support to the other parent. If the court enters an order obligating you to pay child support, you should read that order carefully. In many instances the “how” portion of the order will direct you to pay child support to the Maryland Office of Child Support Enforcement.
The accusations a separating couple can fling at each other can be really upsetting and sometimes scary. Many time clients ask me what to do if they find themselves having an argument with their spouse that gets heated, and more importantly what to do if the argument gets physical?
Effective October 1, 2016, Maryland Courts no longer require corroboration to obtain a decree of divorce. What is corroboration? The rules required that a party seeking a divorce needed a third party to present testimony to corroborate the grounds for divorce.