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February 12, 2004 Divorce Review Juris. Prerequisites: P or D residence/or grounds in MD Venue: Add’l bases for divorce: where P lives Limited v. Absolute Grounds: Fault: Non-Filing Party’s Behavior Actual v. Const. Desert. – 12 mon. sep. Cruelty/Excess Vic. – no sep. but greater burden for offending behavior - Das No Fault: Vol.Sep.: Must be mutual agreement to end marriage at time of separation Two-Year Sep: No need for agrmt Proc: Hearing/P Testify/Corrob. Witness Defenses to Divorce 1) Reconciliation – We agreed to divorce but I offered to reconcile. 2) Recrimination – I did it, but so did she. 3) Condonation – I did it, but she forgave me. Fault Era – bar to divorce No-Fault Era – (2) & (3) are factors, particularly for adultery, but not bar Marital Property Part I Historical Overview Pre-1800’s: All property acquired during marriage = Husband 1800’s–1970’s: Common Law Rule = property distributed by TITLE Modern Rule: Majority – Equitable Distribution Minority – Community Property (changes character of property during marriage) Equitable Distribution 3 Step Process: 1st – Classify Property as Marital/Non-Marital 2nd – Value Property 3rd – “Divide” Property Equitable Distribution Issues 1st Step: Classify marital/non-marital (separate) property Definition: All property acquired by H & W during marriage except gifts or inheritance (or traceable to either) Issues Related to Classification a) When Did Marriage Begin for Purposes of Classifying Property? b) When Is Marriage Over? - date of separation? - date of filing divorce complaint? - date of divorce judgment? c) Is Asset Property?
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