Mutual Consent: How your divorce really can be quicker and easier in Maryland

 Husband and wife looking over divorce papers

Husband and wife looking over divorce papers

Have you ever asked yourself: Can my divorce be completed quicker and easier? If you are looking for a quicker, easier divorce process, Maryland may just have the thing for you. As of October 1, 2015, Maryland adopted a new way to get divorced known as “divorce by mutual consent.” To see if you and your soon to be ex qualify, check out the requirements below. 

Do you qualify?

In order to be able to file for divorce in Maryland based on “mutual consent” you and your spouse must meet the following requirements:

1)    You must have no minor children in common (that means children under 18 years of age that BOTH of you are the biological parents of; children from previous relationships are not considered “children in common”) ;

2)    You have a signed, written settlement agreement covering both alimony and property rights that you submit to the Court;

3)    Neither of you has asked the Court to set aside the written settlement agreement; and

4)    You both appear at an uncontested divorce hearing.

How is this quicker and easier?

No separation required! Up until now, the quickest “no-fault” divorce ground in Maryland required that the couple be separated (not living in the same house and not having sex) for at least one year before they could even file for divorce.  This is not the case under a “mutual consent” divorce.  Here, you can continue to live under the same roof, figure out your settlement agreement, and file for divorce as soon as you’re ready to do so.

As a plus, although different Maryland counties will handle a “mutual consent” divorce in slightly different ways, it looks as though these divorces will move through the courts more quickly since there will be no issues that the court will have to help “work out” for the couple.

Where do you start?

If you think that you qualify for a “mutual consent” divorce, you need to start with the written settlement agreement.  Once that is written, agreed to, and carried out by both of you, you can then file for divorce.

We can help!

Settlement agreements don’t write themselves so you should seek out the advice of an attorney.  An attorney can help you create an agreement that will be acceptable to the court as well as help you draft the necessary documents to actually file for your divorce.

If you have questions and want to talk about your possible “mutual consent” divorce, just give our office a call to set up an appointment.  We are here to help!