Breaking Up Is Easy To Do...Sometimes: 3 States And Their Weird Divorce Laws

Law Blog

States have been busy updating their family law rules, passing new legislation designed to make it easier for people to marry in the case of same sex couples, and passing other laws to help estranged spouses move on with life after separation and divorce. While most of these laws won't affect you unless you live in one of these states, the new laws remind all couples to understand the legal aspects of marriage and divorce.

Maryland changes waiting period for divorce.

Until recently, couples had to be separated for a year in Maryland in order to be granted a divorce hearing. The calendar started from the moment one party moved out, but reset each time couples lived together, even if only for a short time.

Not only did this put a strain on couples' finances if they budgeted to live together until their divorces were final, but it also forced divorcing partners to testify against each other, since exceptions to the one year rule were only made in cases of adultery or abuse. Couples with children still must wait it out a year, but childless couples in Maryland may now be issued a divorce decree before they're too old to enjoy it.

This shortened waiting period in Maryland reminds all divorcing couples to check out their states' definition of legal separation. An attorney in your state will know the answer to that question, and they can explain any waiting periods your state may enforce.

Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania need plans.

First, they need to do some serious estate planning, and they should revise any property deeds so that transferring joint-owned real estate will be easier if one spouse dies before the other. But they must also be prepared for marriages that don't work out.

If you're in a same-sex marriage, and you're divorcing in Pennsylvania, the courts may determine when the actual marriage began. The start date may be considered much earlier than your actual wedding date if you lived together as a committed couple prior to your marriage.

Because alimony, insurance, and Social Security benefits are all dependent on the length of the marriage, courts and legislators will have to sort out how partnerships are measured. Until then, same sex couples who are divorcing should expect to be confused by the lack of clear and fast rules. A competent divorce attorney should be able to advise you on probable outcomes, however.

New York State reformulates how temporary support is calculated.

New York has changed its method of determining how much support partners must pay between separation and divorce finalization. The new rules have one calculation track for spouses who must also pay child support, and another set of formulas for spouses who do not pay or will receive child support. The new law also sets income caps and gives judges wide discretion to use the facts of the case to make support amount determinations.

No matter where you live, if you plan to divorce your spouse, do some math and figure out how the two of you will handle support awards by the court until your divorce decree is granted.

Every state makes up its own divorce laws, so if you have any further questions about marriage or divorce, consult a family law lawyer in your state.


5 October 2015

Choosing To Fight

Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.