Ellicott City, MD asked in Contracts, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: MD Rule 8-209 & 8-210 give court jurisdiction to disperse of the property after 3 years if the PSA wasn't done.

Family law post divorce issue- the property settlement agreement (PSA) was never executed due to many issues one being frustration of the contract and the X refusing to do his share of the agreement making it impossible for wife to do her role so the marital house still sits paid for and not divided as the PSA stipulates. It has been now 13 years and the court refuses to move on motion of contempt etc. I am wondering if Md Rule 8-209 and 8-210 gives the court the jurisdiction and power to enforce their own decision and to cancel this PSA because more than 3 years have past? I tried to petition the court for a sale in lieu of partition but it was denied based on Res Judicata (of which I am in appeals court to fight). How can one interpret Md rule 8-209 and 8-210 ?

thank you

2 Lawyer Answers
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Answered
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Your circumstances may benefit from consulting with a lawyer who focuses on family law. You may wish to sit down with such a lawyer to best understand your situation, including any controlling court orders.

In response to the actual question posted, however, "how can one interpret Md rule 8-209 and 8-210," no such rules exist. The 8-200 series of MD rules go up to 8-207 and deal with appeals in the Court of Special Appeals. I presume instead you mean to refer to the Family Law Article of the MD Annotated Code Sections 8-209 & 8-210 which deal with court orders giving the spouse taking care of children the right to stay in the family home for up to 3 years after the divorce. The statute contained in Family Law title 8, subtitle 2 basically allows the court to order that a custodial parent has the right to stay in the family home after divorce (if it helps the child(ren)), but under Family Law Section 8-210 that right cannot last more than 3 years after the divorce. It has nothing to do with cancelling a separation agreement, settlement agreement or court order that is more than 3 years old.

While not legal advice, I hope that the above answers the question you posted.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: An unsigned agreement is no agreement at all, so unless your ex appeared in court and affirmatively adopted and agreed to the terms of the unsigned agreement as part of the divorce, then the terms of the agreement mean nothing. The issue is, what did the judgment of absolute divorce provide as to the marital home? If it was not addressed, then how the home is titled determines your rights. If your name is on the deed with your ex, then you each own 50% as tenants in common (by law, upon divorce, a deed held jointly by spouses converts automatically to tenants in common). Under those circumstances, you can petition for sale in lieu of partition. It is not clear why your petition for sale was denied. I suspect that either you are not in the title, the judgment of divorce provides a different remedy, or your petition was defective in some way. You will need to review this he matter with a lawyer.

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