Beginning on Oct. 1, 35 new laws went into effect across the state of Maryland. These laws fell under virtually every legal category, including laws relating to DUI penalties, workers’ rights, public safety, narcotics and even the freedom of the press. Another area touched by these new laws was divorce. The specific divorce law that went into effect is known as the Divorce-Corroboration of Testimony law, or SB359, HB274.

The Divorce-Corroboration of Testimony law will reverse previous divorce laws governing the way spouses in Maryland get divorced. Starting Oct. 1, the law will give courts the power to approve divorce decrees on behalf of just one spouse. In this respect, the corroboration (or agreement) of the other spouse is no longer necessary as it was in the past. The new law further establishes the mere filing of a separation agreement will not be enough to prove that each spouse wants to enter into a divorce.

This change to our state’s divorce laws should be a reminder to Maryland spouses that just because they have been through divorce proceedings in the past — or just because they know what a close friend or family member went through during their divorce proceedings — does not mean that a newly-filed divorce will be handled like a previous one.

Finally, divorcing spouses can also rely on the fact that no two divorces are the same. Each Maryland divorce will have its own set of unique facts and circumstances that could change the way it must be navigated through the family court system. As such, spouses may want to seek counsel from a divorce lawyer to be sure that they know what they should expect before engaging in the process.

Source: Patch, “35 New Maryland Laws Go Into Effect October 1, 2016,” accessed Oct. 28, 2016