Potential Changes to Mutual Consent Divorce in Maryland
Feb. 24, 2019
The Maryland Senate passed a bill that could transform the process of mutual consent divorce for Maryland residents forever. Once the bill is passed by the Maryland Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, it will be much easier to obtain a mutual consent divorce if there are minor children involved.
The Mutual Consent Divorce Rules in Maryland
Until the new bill is passed by the House of Delegates, the existing Maryland mutual consent laws will remain in effect. Mutual consent divorce is a no-fault divorce. Currently, the state of Maryland requires that any parties filing for this type of divorce have:
No minor children in common
A signed, written settlement agreement resolving any alimony or property distribution issues
No objections to the agreement from either party
The ability to attend the final uncontested divorce hearing in court
A mutual consent divorce does not require a year of separation before proceedings begin. If a couple cannot meet the strict requirements above, a mutual consent divorce will not be granted. In that case, the only two options will be an absolute divorce after a period of separation or a limited divorce.
The Impact of Previous Rules on Couples with Minor Children
The previous rules made it much more difficult and expensive for couples with minor children in common to divorce. Instead of being able to agree upon the separation and have that be enough, couples with minor children in common would need to go through a separation period that was financially-taxing and lengthy. Unless the couple maintained separate residences with completely separate finances for 12 consecutive months, the courts would not grant a divorce on no-fault grounds.
Complete a Mutual Consent Divorce with Help from Lebovitz Law
Mutual consent divorces require the agreement of both parties. Without a skilled mediator, that can be difficult to obtain. Lebovitz Law has years of experience working with couples and families to create divorce agreements that resolve alimony and property distribution issues. We can guide you through the entire divorce process, whether you are divorcing by mutual consent or not, and assist with all filings and court dates. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.