As of October 1, 2016, a corroborating witness is no longer needed to obtain a divorce in Maryland. Previously the law required a person seeking a divorce to have a witness appear at the divorce hearing to corroborate the alleged grounds for the divorce. For example, if the person requested a divorce on the grounds of a twelve-month separation, the corroborating witness was required to testify that the parties had been married, ceased living together as of a certain date, and had not cohabitated for even a single night since that date. The requirement of a corroborating witness often resulted in a friend or family member taking time off from work to testify at the divorce hearing in which most divorcing couples do not want third parties unnecessarily involved.
The Maryland legislature wisely eliminated the requirement of a corroborating witness. We look forward to additional improvements in the family law area in the upcoming legislative session.
Dana McKee has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of family law.