Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting a Divorce Gets Easier In Maryland

On October 1, 2011, getting a divorce will get easier for many Maryland residents. On that date, a new law goes into effect allowing people to get divorced if they have been living separate and apart for more than 12 months. Under prior law, you could get divorced in Maryland if you had been separated from your spouse for 12 months, but you had to prove that the separation was "mutual and voluntary" on the part of both parties. A spouse who wanted to delay the divorce could assert that the separation was not mutual and voluntary and could drag out the divorce for an additional 12 months. That is no longer the case under the new law.

Specifics are Key in Separation Agreements

Having a very detailed, specific separation agreement is an important factor in ensuring that you will not become embroiled in post-divorce litigation over the rights and duties of the parties under the agreement. In recent months, I have been involved in several cases where former spouses are litigating over their obligations set out in their separation agreement. The common factor in all three cases? The original agreements were vague, ambigious, had terms subject to more than one interpretation or were missing key details.

A very specific, detailed agreement may save you lots of aggravation and money later.