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#1464334 08/30/05 06:05 PM
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mikeb9 Offline OP
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Anyone familiar with Maryland law? I've got a few questions regarding alimony, adultery, etc. (God, what a wonderful world my wife has led us into!) You can respond here or email me at

kapowsin82@yahoo.com

Thanks in advance.


and I knew then that I would have to live, and go on living: what a sorrow it was; and still what sorrow burns but does not destroy my heart --Jane Kenyon
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I've found this site helpful for info. on the state where I live:
http://www.divorcelawinfo.com/MD/flc.htm

Best of luck.


Trixie
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hey...another MD person

i've done tons of research. i got a free book from the MD woman's counsel, taken books out of the library and researched online. I've also made a list of questions and called several lawyers for free phne consultaions as well as met with a laywer whom i liked and used his services.

i don't have children but do have some knowledge about alimoney from what i've read-i also do still have most of the books from the library.

of course...i know all about adultry or wouldn't be here.

i don't know if i can help but post your questions and I'll try if you'd like.

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i hear that adultry doesn't mean anything in MD, is that true?

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My understanding is that adultery will help the BS if the BS is trying to collect alimony. I don't think it will stop the WS from collecting though, depending on the state?

I found a link for the MD law library:

http://www.lawlib.state.md.us/

Free family law forms:

http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/forms/index.html

More do it yourself stuff - very helpful to read this page:

http://www.peoples-law.org/family/divorce/divorce%20home.htm

On the following page I found the adultery info:

http://www.peoples-law.org/family/divorce/choosing%20grounds.htm#Adultery
Grounds for an Absolute Divorce
To obtain an absolute divorce, one spouse must first prove that at least one ground for absolute divorce exists. The following is a brief description of each ground for divorce in Maryland.

Adultery
Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than the offender’s spouse. It is a fault ground for divorce, which means that there is no waiting period for getting a divorce. If a party pleads and proves adultery, the divorce will be granted immediately.
In Maryland, neither cunnilingus nor fellatio (which the law defines as sodomy), is a ground for divorce and generally neither is considered adultery. The sexual intercourse necessary for adultery must involve some penetration of the female organ by the male organ, but a “completion” of the sexual intercourse is not required.

To prove adultery, you do not need to show actual intercourse. Evidence that the offender had the disposition and opportunity for extra-marital intercourse will be enough. Public displays of affection, such as hand-holding, kissing, and hugging, between the guilty spouse and the non-spouse are generally sufficient to indicate an adulterous disposition. For example, opportunity may be proven by showing that your spouse was seen entering the non-spouse’s apartment alone at 11 p.m. and not coming out until 8 a.m. the following morning. If you can only prove disposition but not opportunity, the courts may not allow your divorce because the court may reason that it is simply mere speculation. The same is true if you only show that there was opportunity but cannot prove disposition.

An attorney can determine whether your facts meet the legal requirements for proving adultery. Evidence must include the testimony of a corroborating third party. It is not sufficient for the offender to simply admit the adultery. Additionally, if one spouse has a child and the other spouse is not the natural parent of that child, this is usually sufficient to sustain a claim of adultery. Finding Legal Help

Adultery may be a factor in determining the right to alimony. It may be a factor in awarding custody of the children only if the court determines that the adulterous behavior had a detrimental effect on the children.

Maryland code for family law:

http://198.187.128.12/maryland/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=fs-main.htm&2.0

It also says that the existence of "ground" - eg. Adultery - for divorce do not automatically preclude the awardance of alimony.

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Of course, there's what the law says, and then there's reality.

Edited to clarify - yes, I am in Maryland! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

When I went to see my lawyer in the beginning, she said hardly anyone bothers with getting a divorce on grounds of adultery because it ends up being a lot more expensive, and really doesn't make ANY difference in how the state splits property, awards alimony, etc. Basically, regardless of what laws are on the books, the state doesn't care.

To prove adultery, you have to have an uninvolved third party testify that there was disposition and opportunity. For example, my XH was so hot-and-heavy to marry OW (who wasn't, and for all I know STILL may not be divorced!) that he WANTED me to divorce him on grounds of adultery, and offered to testify stating that he had committed adultery. No go. Not that I would have done it. It was what he wanted, so I felt he should have to wait as long as possible.

Basically, from what my lawyer said, adultery can have a small effect in how the child custody plays out if you can prove that the adultery had a harmful effect on the kids, but that it was unlikely and depended a lot on the judge. She also said that it hardly ever had an effect on alimony, but alimony isn't nearly what it used to be. That alimony usually isn't awarded unless there is a significant disparity in incomes. I made about $30K more than my XH, and she said I had nothing to worry about if we had to go to court (which we didn't.)

And adultery really has no effect on the distribution of property, which is not 50/50 in MD, it is equitable distribution. In most cases, that does end up being 50/50, but not always. In my case, the lawyer thought we would have a pretty good case for me to fight for more, and I was able to convince my XH that it would not be worth it to fight me, and we settled for what I wanted, which was quite a bit more than 50% in my favor.

She stressed through the whole thing that more than anything, your best bet is to reach a settlement and to NOT have to have the matter settled by a judge, because how any of this goes if it is decided by the court is VERY dependent on which judge you get.

One other thing to keep in mind - we didn't end up having to haggle over who kept which debts. But if we had, i had some things I would definitely have fought for. She told me that the credit cards that were in my name only, since they were used in support of the marriage, were marital debt. However, he had several credit cards in his name only that I knew nothing about which he had gotten to support his internet personals, porn, and affairs. In addition, he took out a 5-year loan (in his name only) to buy OW a truck (which was titled in his name). My lawyer told me all those debts were all on him. Since all that debt was in support of his affairs, it was all his, and would not be included in the debt total to be split between the two of us. So you may want to call for a good accounting of any debt there is.

Last edited by osxgirl; 09/08/05 02:24 PM.

osxgirl (A.K.A. Penguin!)
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thanks for this info - it's very helpful.

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mikeb9 Offline OP
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Wow, this thread suddenly took off! Thanks all for your help and recommendations. I'll follow some of the links and see what I can figure out.


and I knew then that I would have to live, and go on living: what a sorrow it was; and still what sorrow burns but does not destroy my heart --Jane Kenyon

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