The Maryland Legislature just closed its legislative session and passed some significant new laws in Maryland. The most important is that the corroboration requirement has now been repealed. Previously, to obtain a divorce, the party seeking the divorce had to present testimony of a third party that corroborated all the essential elements of the divorce. That requirement has now been repealed. The court may now enter a divorce decree on the uncorroborated testimony of the party who is seeking a divorce. This is a welcome change. The requirement of corroboration was an unnecessary, technical hurdle that made more complicated and expensive what should be a simple, uncontested divorce.
The Legislature also passed a law which expands the grounds upon which a party can obtain a peace order. Misuse of telephone and electronic communications are now grounds for the entry of a peace order. “Revenge porn” is an additional ground which has now been both defined and added. Also, a person may not now conduct visual surveillance of another person, even in private, without consent, whether by camera or any other device. Last year, our District Courts reported 1,514 violations for telephone misuse; 499 violations for computer infractions; 58 revenge porn violations; and 94 cases of improper visual surveillance.
The Legislature also expanded the crime of stalking. It has now been defined as a “malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing” another individual. Last year there were 215 violations of the stalking statute reported, with only seven convictions.
Our Towson family law attorneys at Huesman, Jones & Miles advocate on behalf of our clients in all aspects of family law including divorce, prenuptial agreements, child custody, child visitation, child support, alimony, and more throughout the state of Maryland. Contact us online today or call us at 443-589-0150 for more information on how our team can help your family.