Two bills, which affect child support, divorcing couples, and the practice of family law, will be considered in the 2020 Session of the Maryland General Assembly.
The first bill, if passed, would authorize the court to grant a divorce on the grounds of “separation of affection” if the parties have not engaged in sexual relations for a period of 12 months prior to filing a complaint for divorce. Current law requires that spouses not engage in sexual relations for 12 months prior to filing a complaint for divorce, with the additional requirement that spouses not live in the same house. A similar bill was introduced last year, but did not pass.
The second bill aims to amend the definition of “shared physical custody” and change how shared physical custody affects a child support order. Currently, shared physical custody is defined by each parent keeping a child overnight for 35% (or 128 overnights) of the year. This bill proposes that the definition of shared physical custody be changed to 25% (at least 92 overnights) of the year. The bill, if passed, would also provide for a “shared physical custody adjustment” to child support when a parent keeps a child for more than 25% of the year, but less than 30% (not more than 109 overnights) of the year. This would apply only to cases filed after October 1, 2020. A similar bill was introduced last year, but did not pass.
If you have questions about these or other family law issues, please contact Ferrier Stillman, Keri Kemmerzell, or another member of the Tydings’ family law group. The firm has offices in downtown Baltimore and in Towson.
This has been prepared by Tydings for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.