Sen. Wayne Norman (R-Harford) has introduced SB 499, a bill that would allow a circuit court to grant an absolute divorce on the basis of mutual consent, with only one of the parties appearing in court. The bill deletes Fam. Law Sec. 7-103(a)(8)(iv), which currently requires both parties to appear before a chancellor when they are seeking an absolute divorce. The bill hearing is set for February 14, 2017 in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Stating three words, Talaq, Talaq, Talaq, is all that is required for a husband to divorce his wife under Islamic law. This ancient tradition is being reviewed by the Supreme Court in India in order to determine the constitutionality of this divorce practice. Other primarily Muslim countries have outlawed this practice of divorce years ago as women are often treated unfairly. This practice continues to effect marriage and divorce in the United States and particularly in Maryland. Spouses who were married under the Islamic faith do not always realize that if they reside in Maryland, they are still bound by Maryland law and have to initiate the divorce process in the Maryland Courts. Many husbands state the triple Talaq or have a proxy in their home country stand in for them to perform the divorce practice pursuant to the laws of their home country. While they may be divorced in the eyes of their faith, they are not divorced pursuant to the law of Maryland. Maryland case law, Aleem v. Aleem, 404 Md. 404 (2008) has concluded that the Talaq violates due process and public policy and therefore is not recognized as a valid divorce in Maryland.