New Bill Proposed - Living Together But Entitled to a Divorce

New Bill Proposed - Living Together But Entitled to a Divorce

Another bill (SB 334) was just proposed in Annapolis that will open new doors for families and attorneys. Last year, the law was changed to allow married persons to divorce so long as they lived separate and apart for one year. But what constitutes "separate and apart." For years, ever since the Ricketts case, attorneys have pondered and argued whether living separate and apart under the same roof would suffice. SB334 will finally resolve this dispute. The new law, if passed, will consider married parties as living separate and apart for purposes of getting a final divorce even if they are living under the same roof and sharing household expenses, so long as they "maintain separate bedrooms." For many, particularly those trapped living together due to the current economy, the passing of SB334 is a much needed change. With today’s economy, many families are unable to sell their homes and generally one spouse can’t afford the mortgage on his/her income alone. As a result, estranged spouses are forced to still live together as man and wife and are held captive by the unknown (i.e., will a court order me to pay her alimony? if I buy a new car, does he own it too? Can I use the money from my 401K?). SB 334 won’t be able to change their living situation, but it will allow them to be divorced and that closure means freedom to buy, sell, &/or transfer property, change jobs, and date whomever. For many, this is a major step to a new beginning....