The 2018 Legislative Session began on January 10, 2018 and brings with it some possible changes to Maryland Family Law.
On this week’s #FamilyFriday article, the attorneys of ERA Law Group, LLC want to bring to your attention some possible changes in Maryland Family Law! The 2018 Legislative Session began on January 10, 2018 and brings with it some possible changes to Maryland Family Law.
Divorce – Mutual Consent
As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, divorce by mutual consent allows spouses to divorce within one (1) year of their separation and is available only to those married couples that have settled all marital issues and do not have any children in common. Now, for the third time, there is an attempt to allow spouses with minor children in common to obtain a divorce by mutual consent.
Child Support – Driver’s License Suspension
Parents who fail to pay child support could potentially suffer serious consequences such as having their license suspended. In this session there is an attempt to exempt individuals from having their license suspended if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Child Support – Income
When determining child support, it is only the actual gross income of the parents that are considered. Even if one of the parent’s is re-married their spouse’s income is not factored into the child support equation. In this session there is an attempt to allow a Court to consider a parent’s spouse’s income when determining that parent’s child support obligation. Additionally, under the same considerations, the Court may order payment of attorney fees in proportion of each parties’ adjusted actual incomes.
Visitation and Child Custody – Terms
Currently the term used for describing the time awarded to the non-custodial parent is “visitation.” Additionally, the term used to describe decision making authority is “child custody.” In this session there is an attempt to replace the word “visitation” with “parenting time” and the term “child custody” with “legal decision making.”
If you have a family law related issue or question, call the attorneys of ERA Law Group, LLC today at (410) 919-1790!
There are a number of ways to obtain a divorce in Maryland.
There are a number of ways to obtain a divorce in Maryland. On this week’s #FamilyFriday article, the attorneys of ERA Law Group, LLC discuss the ways to obtain a divorce in Maryland.
There are two types of grounds for divorce: grounds based on a fault and no fault. Grounds based on fault may permit a party to obtain an absolute divorce within 12-months and could serve as a factor considered by the Court in determining alimony or a marital award. There are two no-fault grounds for divorce. The most common is a 12-month separation which means that the parties have lived separate and apart without resuming cohabitation for at least a period of 12-months. The second no-fault ground is a divorce by mutual consent which requires the parties not have children and resolve all their property issues.
If you believe your spouse is responsible for the divorce, you may want to consider some grounds based on fault.
- Adultery: your spouse has cheated on you.
- Desertion: your spouse has left the marital home (called “actual desertion”) or you were justified in leaving the marital home (called “constructive desertion”), the desertion is deliberate and final, and 12-months have passed.
- If your spouse was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, has been sentenced to serve at least three (3) years or an indeterminate sentence, and has served at least 12 months of that sentence.
- Insanity: If your spouse has been confined to a mental institution or hospital for at least 3 years prior to filing for divorce and at least 2 physicians testify at trial that the insanity is incurable and there is no hope of recovery.
- Cruelty of treatment involves either physical or verbal abuse where the spouses conduct endangers the life or health of their spouse or minor child(ren) which makes living together unsafe.
- Excessively vicious conduct involves a pattern of serious domestic violence or some other severe physical or emotional action.
If you are separated and need assistance, call the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC today at (410) 919-1790!
Many people get married and mutually agree that a divorce is what’s right for them. A divorce by mutual consent allows parties to file for divorce so long as there are no minor children and there is an agreement as to all property issues.
On this week’s #FamilyFriday article, the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC want to help you get divorced and quick. Many people get married and mutually agree that a divorce is what’s right for them. Prior to 2015, if you wanted a divorce you had to wait at least one year. The theory behind the wait period was to encourage partners to reconcile and hopefully avoid divorce. Fortunately the law has caught up with reality and in many cases, when you know you know.
A divorce by mutual consent allows parties to file for divorce so long as there are no minor children and there is an agreement as to all property issues. Determining whether you have minor children is easy but settling property can sometimes be difficult depending on the duration of the marriage and the property accrued. You and your spouse want to discuss and settle issues related to any joint bank accounts, cars, real property, debt, retirement, and alimony before filing for divorce. Hiring an attorney to draft the settlement agreement to ensure it contains all necessary contract language and covers all potential property disputes is important to make sure you truly have settled all property issues. Additionally, sometimes parties think they’re on the same page only to learn that they’re not. Discussing these issues initially allows for a smooth settlement and a true divorce by mutual consent.
Once you have your agreement signed you can then file for the divorce. Your spouse can come with you and immediately file their answer which avoids waiting for the summons and having to formally serve the Defendant. When filing for the divorce you must include a copy of your agreement so the Court is satisfied that there are no unresolved property issues. After you’ve filed, the Court will set an uncontested hearing for about ten (10) minutes. Some counties take longer than others but a good estimation of the time it would take to get divorced is three (3) months.
The attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC offer fixed fee services to draft and finalize your agreement and handle your uncontested divorces. Call us today!