In April, 2016, the General Assembly in Maryland approved legislation to remove third party witness requirements from uncontested divorce proceedings. In the former law, a witness was required in court to confirm that the couple had not lived under the same roof for one full year, with no interruptions, or staying over at either person’s residence.
The passage was approved by the state Senate after they agreed to the House of Delegates’ version of the bill. Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill into effect this month. Those in favor of the bill had argued that the law was outdated and had put extra stress and pressure for divorcing couples and their families. The Maryland State Bar Association’s family law division was among the proponents of the new bill. There was little opposition while pushing the new legislation through.
The Legislature also pushed through a law that expands existing grounds for a peace order, including misuse of telephone and electronic communications. “Revenge porn,” or using images or video of a person who is nude or in a sexual act without their consent, is now defined and added to the law. Additionally, a person may now conduct visual surveillance without the other person’s consent, even in private. Stalking has had its definition expanded to include malicious course of conduct that includes both approaching or pursuing another person.
Unresolved are tax breaks, which were not agreed upon during the General Assembly, pushing the issue back to be revisited next year. Some of the other legislation that passed through the Maryland General Assembly includes:
- Bees-Pesticide Protection
- Divorce Witness
- Drunken Driving-Ignition Interlock
- Equal Pay
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction
- Justice Reinvestment
- Land Preservation
- Law Enforcement-Benefits
- Lead Paint-Structured Settlements
- Northrop Grumman-Tax Credits
- Police Accountability
- Prince George’s Hospital Funding
- Renewable Energy
- Retirement Plans
- University Partnership
- Voter Registration
Specific laws signed by Hogan aim to:
- Require many insurance companies to fully cover birth control.
- Require doctors to disclose to patients that Lyme Disease test results are not necessarily accurate.
- Require government bodies to have full record of meeting minutes and recordings for five years after the meeting.
- Create more opportunities for veterans by allowing employers to give preference when hiring and promoting veterans.
- Create a new state cosmetology license for blow-dry bars.
- Establish a three-year pilot program in Anne Arundel County and Harford County in order to study the effects of allowing children to be accompanied by a therapy dog when they have to give a testimony in court.
Baltimore Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher Keep Current on Divorce Laws that May Aid our Clients
Divorce proceedings can be drawn out and complicated enough without changing laws influencing the outcome of a divorce. Our team of Baltimore divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher stay on top of the latest legislature and use the new laws to help make your divorce as painless as possible. Contact us online or call us at 410-602-9522 today to find out how we can put our experience to work for you. With offices in Stevenson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout the state including Baltimore County and Baltimore City.