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Divorce Lawyers

Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law

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Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

News and comments about divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, equitable property distribution, father’s rights, mother’s rights, family law, laws on divorce and other legal information in Maryland.

Posts Tagged ‘Grounds for Divorce’

It’s Either Me or the Moustache

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

 

In Algeria, we hear that a woman has filed for divorce after three months of marriage because her husband will not shave his moustache.

I guess she has never heard the old French idiom:

“Un baiser sans moustache est comme un œuf sans sel!”

(“A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt!”)

Ashley Madison and Grounds for Divorce

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Do you have grounds for divorce if you find your spouse among the 37 million hacked users of Ashley Madison, the dating website for married people looking to cheat?

In DC, the answer is no. There are only two grounds for divorce in DC — six months voluntary separation or twelve months involuntary separation. But the court must still consider marital fault, among other factors, in deciding alimony and property distribution.

Maryland and Virginia have fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Adultery is a fault ground in both states. Using Ashley Madison by itself does not prove your spouse has committed adultery. But it is probably enough to plead adultery in a complaint for divorce. Then you have to obtain the evidence. You can use then use the court discovery rules to ask your spouse directly. Your spouse must answer under oath and penalties of perjury.

Your spouse may take the Fifth Amendment but the divorce court is allowed to presume this means that adultery was committed. And some spouses will lie. In addition, Maryland and Virginia require corroboration of the adultery by independent evidence. So you may still have to hire a private investigator to follow your spouse.

Despite what you see in the movies, the private eye doesn’t usually burst into the hotel room with a camera. You can use circumstantial evidence to prove adultery with inclination and opportunity.
The testimony for inclination might be, “I saw them holding hands at dinner and watched them go into a hotel.”

For opportunity, the detective would say, “I put a chalk mark on the tire of the car in the parking lot and it was in the same place when I returned in the morning.”

Md Legislature Adds Mutual Consent to Grounds for Divorce

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

The Maryland General Assembly has added “Mutual Consent” as new grounds for absolute divorce in Maryland, eliminating the waiting period, if

(1) the parties do not have any minor children in common;

(2) the parties execute and submit to the court a written settlement agreement signed by both parties that resolves all  issues relating to alimony and the distribution of property;

(3) neither party files a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing required under the Maryland rules; and

(4) both parties appear before the court at the absolute divorce hearing.

The new law, when signed by the Governor, will take effect October 1, 2015.

New Bill Would Shorten Maryland Separation Periods

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said we have a great experiment going on with the laws in the different states in the U.S.  We can see which ones work best.

Arizona is trying to decide whether or not to increase the time of separation in that state from two months to six months.

Meanwhile, Maryland Senator Zirkin  has introduced Senate Bill 577 that would reduce the time from one year to six months for a voluntary separation in Maryland.  The period for involuntary separation would change from two years to one year.  If it passes, the bill would be effective for divorces filed after October 1, 2010.

This would bring Maryland in line with the separation period required in its neighboring jurisdictions, Virginia and DC.

Divorce in Maryland if No Sex for a Year

Friday, January 29th, 2010

“My husband and I have not been intimate for over a year,” Louise, an unhappily married woman tells Joe, a Maryland divorce lawyer, “and I want a divorce.”

“OK, any other woman in his life?” inquires Joe.

“No.”

“Hmmm, any domestic violence or threats?”

“No.”

“Then you’re going to have to move out of the house for a year before you can file a divorce complaint,” says Joe trying to push the box of tissues across his desk toward Louise unobtrusively.

“But we can’t afford that,” cries Louise reaching for the tissues, “There must be another way.”

Neighboring jurisdictions, DC and Virginia permit parties to be separated while living in the same house, but not Maryland.  In Maryland, spouses are required to live separate and apart under different roofs for one year if the both agree, and two years if they don’t.  This waiting period must occur before they can even file for divorce.  And the divorce might take a year or longer after that.  These are the no fault grounds.  Adultery and cruelty have no waiting period.

The purpose of this waiting period is to favor marriage over divorce and make sure the parties really, really want to be divorced and not married.  After all, sometimes people change their minds.  But the recession has forced many couples to live together in misery because they cannot afford to separate.

So Montgomery County Delegate Luiz Simmons, an attorney, will support legislation this year to add a new grounds for divorce in Maryland, according to this morning’s Frederick News Post.  If this law passes, couples who go a year without sex would be able to file for divorce.

Don’t Be Cruel

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Anuradha Das said her husband, Vincent Das, made her stay up all night in order to listen to him, isolated her from her friends and family, hitting, pinching and pulling her hair, and taunted her about what she would do when a protective order expired.   Anuradha filed for divorce in Maryland based on cruelty.  There was a trial and the divorce was granted.

Vincent appealed saying his wife had not proven cruelty as grounds for her divorce.  He claimed his conduct never endangered her life, person, or health, or would have otherwise caused her to feel apprehension of bodily suffering.

He cited older cases in Maryland which say that marital neglect, rudeness of manner, and the use of profane and abusive language do not constitute cruelty.  A divorce cannot be granted merely because the parties have lived together unhappily as a result of unruly tempers and marital wranglings, sallies of passion, harshness or rudeness.

However, there were several incidents of domestic violence over the history of the marriage including a one year protective order against Vincent.   Consequently, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals found that Vincent’s conduct far exceeded mere sallies of passion, harshness or rudeness.  It threatened Anuradha’s physical and emotional well-being.  The Court upheld the judgment of divorce on grounds of cruelty.  Das v. Das, 133 Md. App.1, 754 A.2d 441 (2000).

 
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