Standing Examiner


Instructions for Persons Testifying in Uncontested Court Cases before Standing Examiner

What you will need to bring to the Uncontested Divorce Hearing:
1. A Corroborating Witness. You will need to bring a corroborating witness to verify all of the facts alleged in your Complaint for Absolute Divorce. If your witness does not have direct knowledge of your marriage and cannot corroborate the fact that you and your spouse were married on the date alleged in your Complaint, then you must also bring a copy of your marriage certificate.
Your witness must be able to testify under oath that he/she knows that:
• You and your spouse are married to each other.
• If there is a default, your spouse is not in the military.

If the grounds for the divorce are a One-Year Separation, the witness must testify under oath that he/she knows that:
• You and your spouse agreed to separate and that you and your spouse have been separated, lived apart, and had no sexual intercourse with each other for one (1) year before the filing of the Complaint for Absolute Divorce.
• If a written Separation Agreement exists, that he/she knows that you and your spouse signed it.

If the ground for divorce is desertion, your witness must testify under oath that he/she knows that:
• Your spouse left you without justification more than one year before you filed your Complaint, you and your spouse had no sexual intercourse with each other for one (1) year before the filing of the Complaint for Absolute Divorce and your spouse have not lived together during that year.

2. A Child Support Guidelines Worksheet(prepared by lawyer), a Child Support Order and/or a Separation Agreement(provided by lawyer). In cases where parties have minor children born of this marriage, you must bring to the Uncontested Hearing the following items: (1) a completed child support worksheet, (2) copies of your last three or pay stubs/payroll information indicating earnings for the year to date, rate of pay and hours worked and, (3) where applicable, a copy of any previous Child Support Order and/or Separation Agreement.

Your lawyer will prepare this after you have provided updated financial information for you and your spouse, i.e.:
1) Gross monthly income
2) Health insurance cost for the children
3) Daycare cost, if any
4) Number of overnights the child(ren) spend annually with your spouse
5) Monthly costs of extraordinary medical expenses

Below you will find an outline of questions that you will be asked by your lawyer or by the Standing Examiner Master conducting the hearing. If you are uncertain of the question being asked, the propriety of an answer you or your witness might give, or simply how to answer a question, it is important that you discuss your concerns with your lawyer before the hearing. Briefly stated, you must prove:
1) You were married and lived together
2) The names, ages, and dates of birth of any child(ren)
3) You are a fit parent to have sole or joint custody
4) You have lived apart for at least one year
5) There is no reasonable hope for reconciliation
6) You voluntarily signed an agreement resolving all property, custody, support, and child access issues, if one was signed.
Questions for Moving Party
1) State your full name and address
2) How long have you lived in the State of Maryland before filing the Complaint for Absolute Divorce?
3) Have you continuously lived in Maryland since filing the Complaint for Absolute Divorce?

MARRIAGE
1) When, where, and by who were you married?
2) Was it a religious or civil ceremony?
ATTORNEY WILL INTRODUCE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE OR PROVE MARRIAGE BY REPUTATION IN THE COMMUNITY BY CLIENT’S TESTIMONY.
3) After your marriage, did you and your spouse hold yourselves out to the community as being Husband and Wife?
4) Are there any other proceedings in any court regarding your divorce?

CHILDREN
1) Please state the full name of your children?
2) Please state their Dates of birth and their present ages.
3) Are you a fit and proper person to be their custodial parent?

SEPARATION
1) When did you and your spouse separate?
2) What was the reason for the separation?
3) Who moved out? When?

WRITTEN AGREEMENT
1) Have you made a written agreement with your spouse concerning a property settlement and support?
2) Your lawyer may show you a document…Is this the Separation and Property Settlement Agreement entered into between you and your spouse?
a. Please Identify the signatures affixed to this document
3) Were each of you represented by a lawyer of your choice?
4) Is the agreement fair and equitable?
5) Was any force or duress exerted upon you or your spouse in an effort to induce either of you to sign it against your will?
6) Does paragraph #____ provide adequate support for your children?

CONTINUOUSLY LIVING APART
1) Have you and your spouse lived separate and apart in separate households and without cohabitation or sexual relations with each other since the date you first separated?

ATTORNEY QUESTIONS FOR CORROBORATING WITNESS- DO NOT USE A PARAMOUR OR A CHILD AS A CORROBORATING WITNESS
1) State you name and address.
2) Do you know the Plaintiff?
3) How long have you known him/her?
4) What is your relationship to him/her?
5) Where does the Plaintiff reside?
6) For how long has the Plaintiff resided there?
7) Do you know the Defendant?
8) How long have you known the Defendant?
IF THERE ARE MINOR CHILDREN BORN OF THE MARRIAGE
9) Please state the names, dates of birth, and ages of the Plaintiff’s child(ren)
10) Is the Plaintiff a fit and proper person to have custody of his/her child(ren)
SEPARATION
11) How did you become aware of the Plaintiff’s separation?
12) What was the date of the separation?
13) Have the parties lived separate and apart in separate households and without cohabitation or sexual relations with each other since their date of separation?
14) Did either the Plaintiff or Defendant discuss their separation with you?
15) How often have you visited with the Plaintiff or in his/her home since the separation of the parties?
16) Do you believe you would know if they resumed living together or if they cohabitated?
17) Is there any reasonable hope or expectation of reconciliation?

NOTE TO LAWYER: Please complete the Blue Divorce Form and email, mail, or deliver it to our paralegal before the hearing so that it can be presented to the Court and avoid the delayed entry of a Judgment of Divorce. If you want to resume the use of a maiden name or adopt a new name, be sure to tell your lawyer BEFORE the Standing Examiner hearing so that the request is made in your Complaint and the name change can be made without a separate legal proceeding being required.

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