What Will 2017 Bring to Family Law?

As with other areas of the law, family law is regularly changing to keep up with new developments in families’ needs. The trend in the last few years in family law is to streamline and simplify the grounds for divorce.

When I first began practicing law in Maryland, there was a two year waiting period of continuous separation before filing a divorce if you and your spouse didn’t agree to separate. On top of that, it is not unusual for the divorce to take a year to be final if the parties didn’t agree on the financial issues of the divorce. In the last few years, that waiting period was reduced to one year, and there has even been a new mutual consent ground for divorce which does not require separation. (Other conditions apply, of course!)

New this year is the removal of the requirement for corroboration of the grounds for divorce. In the past, even amicable divorcing couples had to be sure to bring someone to court with them who also had knowledge of the grounds for divorce, whether it was separation, adultery, etc. It required another adult to make themselves available, take time off work and to publicly state details of the couples’ private life.

What will 2017 bring? Possibly an expansion of the mutual consent divorce availability, stay tuned for updates from Maryland’s General Assembly.   – Heather L. Sunderman

For more information on Family Law, please contact Heather L. Sunderman at (301) 664-7710 or hlsunderman@mirskylawgroup.com.

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