Towson Divorce by Mutual Consent Lawyer
Not so long ago, couples seeking a no-fault divorce in Maryland had to first split up and live apart for a year before filing for an absolute divorce, or instead file for a limited divorce but remain married until eligible for an absolute divorce. This method is costly, requiring the couple to maintain separate residences for a year. It can also cause untold frustration and anxiety for people having to wait and put their lives on hold for a year before being able to move on with a new chapter in their lives. In 2015 Maryland created a new type of divorce called divorce by mutual consent, allowing couples to obtain an absolute divorce without the requirement of a 12-month separation. Family law attorney Richard Lebovitz and his team at Lebovitz Law can tell you everything you need to know about a mutual consent divorce and can guide you through the process efficiently and effectively. Read on to learn more, and contact our experienced Towson divorce by mutual consent lawyer for immediate assistance or if you have any questions.
Requirements and Process for Divorce by Mutual Consent
When the law was first passed in 2015, mutual consent divorce was not available to couples who shared minor children (although having a minor child in the household from a previous relationship would not prevent a divorce by mutual consent). This requirement was changed in 2019. Now, even couples who have minor children can get a mutual consent divorce, provided they meet the other requirements outlined below.
Getting a divorce by mutual consent requires preparing a separation agreement where the couple decides how they will split up their marital property and pensions. The issue of alimony must also be settled in the agreement, including the amount and duration of alimony payments or a waiver of alimony if mutually agreed to by the parties. If the couple has minor children, the settlement agreement must also address issues of childcare, custody and support, including completing the child support guidelines worksheet.
Once completed, the separation agreement is signed by both parties and filed in court along with the legal complaint, which is the legal document officially opening a divorce case and asking the judge to grant a divorce. No trial is necessary, although the court will hold a hearing to review the documents and make sure everything is in order. Prior to 2019, both parties had to attend this court hearing, although changes to the law make it so that now only the person who filed the complaint has to attend the hearing.
In a divorce by mutual consent, you can wait to separate and establish separate residences until after the divorce is over and you have decided how property will be divided and how support payments will be made. You can even continue to cohabit after the divorce is finalized and choose to separate on your own timetable whenever it makes the most practical and financial sense for you.
Why You Need a Lawyer for a Mutual Consent Divorce, and How Lebovitz Law Can Help
Completing a settlement agreement that covers the division of marital property and alimony is a complicated process. A knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer can make sure that every asset and debt is accounted for, properly classified as marital or non-marital (separate) property, and accurately valued. Your attorney can also help you analyze the need for alimony and the ability to pay to arrive at an amount that is fair for both parties.
A mutual consent divorce requires that everything be agreed upon. Even couples who start with an agreement in principle can get sidetracked as they try to work through the concrete issues of property division and support. These issues can get so complicated and emotional that mutual consent evaporates, and couples find themselves dealing with a difficult, contested divorce. Maryland divorce lawyer Richard Lebovitz is a seasoned family law practitioner with particular expertise in conflict avoidance and conflict resolution. Lebovitz Law provides a guiding hand to keep your settlement agreement talks on track, ensuring you make the best decisions that meet your needs and can achieve the mutual consent divorce you desire.
Contact Lebovitz Law Today
To find out if mutual consent divorce is right for you and get the right kind of legal help to solve any problems and get the divorce you desire, call Lebovitz Law at 410-828-0680 for a consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable Maryland family law attorney. We’ll take the time necessary to answer your questions and make sure your needs are being met. Contact our experienced Towson divorce by mutual consent lawyer today.