UPDATE TO MARYLAND DOMESTIC FAMILY DIVORCE LAW (2018)

UPDATE TO MARYLAND DOMESTIC FAMILY DIVORCE LAW (2018)

Every year, Maryland’s legislature passes new laws that impact many Maryland family law cases. This session, the Maryland legislature passed a significant number of family law related bills into laws.

Here is a look at several new laws that may potentially change your divorce, domestic violence, child support, or other Maryland family law related matter:
A Party can now use the granting of a Maryland Interim Protective Order, Maryland Temporary Protective Order, or Maryland Final Protective Order, as grounds for a limited or absolute divorce in Maryland. (House Bill 293)
This new domestic violence law makes all domestic violence related orders admissible in Maryland custody and Maryland divorce proceedings. Courts may now use grounds for a protective order petition, compliance, or even violations of domestic violence orders when determining if a Party has met their burden for proving grounds for divorce.
A Former Spouse can request restoration to a prior name up to 18 months after an entry of a Judgment of Absolute Divorce, without having to undergo the standard name change process. (House Bill 793)

This new law eliminates the previous requirement related to obtaining a name-change related to a divorce. Previously, a Spouse was required to plead for a name change during the divorce process and make the name change request at the time of the divorce. As long as a party decides to modify or restore their name within 8 months of the decree, the Party can avoid Maryland’s strict and often time-consuming name change requirements.

Maryland Courts no longer have the authority to order adult children to contribute to the care and expenses of the adult child’s destitute parent. (House Bill 764)
This legislation repealed the Maryland filial support law. Under the former law, in certain circumstances adult children were required to contribute to the expenses and care of sick and non-self-supporting parents. The law allowed the Maryland Circuit Court and Maryland Assistant State’s Attorney to criminally charge adult children who neglected and refused to financially provide for their parents.

A commercial driver’s license owner may now be behind on child support payments for as many as 120 days before the Maryland Child Support Enforcement can notify the Maryland Vehicle Administration to suspend the commercial driver’s license. (House Bill 1047)

This new child support law extends the time period that a commercial driver’s license may be out of compliance regarding child support payments before the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration may notify the Mother Vehicle Administration to suspend the individual’s commercial driver’s license.

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