On this week’s #FamilyFriday article, the attorneys of ERA Law Group, LLC want to bring to your attention some possible changes in Maryland Family Law! The 2018 Legislative Session began on January 10, 2018 and brings with it some possible changes to Maryland Family Law.
Divorce – Mutual Consent
As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, divorce by mutual consent allows spouses to divorce within one (1) year of their separation and is available only to those married couples that have settled all marital issues and do not have any children in common. Now, for the third time, there is an attempt to allow spouses with minor children in common to obtain a divorce by mutual consent.
Child Support – Driver’s License Suspension
Parents who fail to pay child support could potentially suffer serious consequences such as having their license suspended. In this session there is an attempt to exempt individuals from having their license suspended if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Child Support – Income
When determining child support, it is only the actual gross income of the parents that are considered. Even if one of the parent’s is re-married their spouse’s income is not factored into the child support equation. In this session there is an attempt to allow a Court to consider a parent’s spouse’s income when determining that parent’s child support obligation. Additionally, under the same considerations, the Court may order payment of attorney fees in proportion of each parties’ adjusted actual incomes.
Visitation and Child Custody – Terms
Currently the term used for describing the time awarded to the non-custodial parent is “visitation.” Additionally, the term used to describe decision making authority is “child custody.” In this session there is an attempt to replace the word “visitation” with “parenting time” and the term “child custody” with “legal decision making.”
If you have a family law related issue or question, call the attorneys of ERA Law Group, LLC today at (410) 919-1790!