As of October 1, 2016, the Maryland Legislature removed what has been a procedural roadblock for people seeking an uncontested divorce based on a one-year separation.
Until this newly enacted law, parties seeking an uncontested divorce were required to bring an independent witness to testify that the litigants had lived separate and apart, and without cohabitation, for even one day as husband and wife. The purpose of the statute was to prevent people from seeking a divorce based on a one-year separation when, in fact, they had not separated.
The problem that the Legislature discovered was the difficulty of finding witnesses who could testify truthfully, that based on their personal knowledge, the parties had lived separate and apart. In addition, asking someone to attend court was invariably a great imposition on family and friends. Thus, as result of this new law, only the person who brings the divorce action needs to testify as to the fact of separation.
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