Allowing Couples to File for Divorce While Living In Same Home May Prove Valuable After COVID-19 Pandemic
A proposed addition to the grounds for divorce in Maryland would make a significant change to the entire process, who’s eligible to file, and when. The latest proposed change is that Maryland couples living in the same home would be able to file for divorce while residing together, even where the Parties have not entered into an agreement resolving all issues.
This follows a change wherein mutual consent was approved as an official grounds for divorce in Maryland, forgoing the need to wait for a year before filing for divorce. Now though, couples would not need to be living separately. This proposed change in policy could be particularly important in our post-coronavirus world.
Previous Maryland divorce grounds stated that individuals needed to be living separately for a minimum of one year before filing. However, the new change to Maryland divorce law would allow couples to forego that process when living in the same home due to issues such as being unable to afford separate housing.
Finances change all the time, and if one party lost a job, or has another issue arise wherein less money is available than previously, it’s still important to be able to file for divorce and move on with one’s life. There are even healthcare emergencies or chronic illnesses which may factor in, along with being able to afford proper housing and care for children.
This change to the grounds for divorce in Maryland was proposed before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the country. However, in its wake and during its ongoing spread, it’s even more relevant and important than ever. While it hasn’t passed as of the time of this writing, the idea behind it is an important one as the country navigates the aftermath of the pandemic.
The coronavirus has changed the way we lived our lives, forcing us to shelter in place or lockdown to various degrees. For couples planning or beginning to be separated, the coronavirus may have hindered the ability to do so. This has created a situation where some people may be stuck at home together, for any number of complications stemming from the impact of COVID-19, but unable to file for divorce otherwise.
If you live in the state of Maryland and have any questions about the grounds for divorce, the divorce process, or how things are evolving due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, feel free to call our office at 240.395.1418 for more information or to schedule a free virtual consultation.