WITNESS TESTIMONY IN A DIVORCE ACTION

Effective October 1, 2016, a party seeking a divorce will no longer need to provide a corroborating witness in order to get a divorce, no matter what the grounds for divorce are.  The party asking for a divorce will still have to prove the grounds to the court, though.

This should, among other things, make it easier for a party to get a divorce, especially for grounds where corroboration can prove difficult, such as adultery.  It will also make the taking divorce testimony easier, even in the uncontested situations, because the party seeking a divorce will not have to get a friend, neighbor or relative to accompany him to the testimony.

There remains also the requirement that one of the parties has to have been a resident of Maryland for at least six (6) months prior to the filing of the complaint for divorce.

Readers of this blog will recall that in 2015, the Legislature passed a law providing new divorce grounds so that married couples could get divorced without a statutory waiting period.  These were the so-called “mutual consent” grounds.  Among the requirements for a mutual consent divorce was that the married couple not have any minor children in common.

The 2016 Legislature considered, but did not pass, a law which would extend the mutual divorce grounds to married couples with children.  That change may come in a future legislative session.

 

Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice and is no substitute for consultation with an attorney.