By Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA
As of October 1, 2011, the Maryland legislature has combined two grounds for divorce into one. Previously a spouse could obtain an absolute (final) divorce based on an agreement (a voluntary separation) between the parties to live separate and apart (not under the same roof) for one year. A spouse could also seek a divorce where the parties, without any agreement, had lived separate and apart for 2 years. Those grounds for divorce have now been combined into one ground i.e. either party may seek an absolute divorce if they have lived separate and apart for 1 year even if there was no agreement to separate. The Governor refused to sign that part of the proposed law which would have reduced, from one year to six months, the waiting period to obtain an absolute divorce on the ground of voluntary separation. Below is the link to the bill passed by the legislature.