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Maryland Legislature Passes Law Eliminating Two Year Divorce Waiting Period

Currently, Maryland law regarding divorce involves two different waiting periods in order to obtain a no fault divorce. The one year waiting period applies when BOTH parties are seeking the divorce, i.e. the separation is MUTUAL and voluntary. The two year waiting period applies when only one of the two parties would like the divorce. We had previously discussed this distinction in our October 2010 blog. The Maryland legislature has passed a bill eliminating the two year waiting period, and now no fault divorces can proceed with only a one year separation, eliminating the need for the Court to consider if one or both parties is seeking the divorce for grounds purposes. The Maryland Daily Record reported on April 17, 2011 that this new legislation will go into effect October 1, 2011. The chief sponsor of the bill, Senator Bobby Zirkin believes that the two year separation period is only extending volatile situations and allowing parties to drag the litigation out in order to bargain for those items they want in the divorce. He also believes that this is a step in the right direction in his effort to reduce the waiting period to only six months, as we discussed in our February 17, 2011 blog .

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