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Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

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Maryland Residency Requirements

Louis and Charlotte Fletcher lived in Virginia for most of their marriage.  But when Charlotte left Louis she bought a lottery ticket and won $7,000,000.

Marital property is determined at the time of separation in Virginia, but at the time of divorce in Maryland.

So Louis moved to Maryland and filed for divorce, alleging that Charlotte had committed adultery in a condo she had purchased in Ocean City Maryland.

Two months later Charlotte filed for divorce in Virginia and moved to dismiss the Maryland case for lack of jurisdiction.  The judge decided that Louis moved to Maryland because of the lottery ticket, so he wasn’t a bona fide resident, and besides he hadn’t been here for a year before filing his complaint.  Therefore he dismissed the Maryland case.  Louis appealed.

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland took a look at Section 7-101(a) of the Family Law Article of the Maryland Code, which provides:

“If the grounds for divorce occurred outside of this State, a party may not apply for a divorce unless 1 of the parties has resided in this State for at least 1 year before the application is filed.”

Does that mean the opposite is true as well?  That is, if the grounds for divorce occur inside Maryland, as the adultery in this case, a one year residence is not required?  Is any residence required?

The answers tomorrow.

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