What Is Mutual Consent Divorce?
A Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce is a divorce that is based on an Agreement by both parties that they wish to end the marriage; and in furtherance of ending the marriage, they both sign a written Agreement that resolves all marital issues (child related issues, property, alimony, retirement, assets, debts).
What Requirements Must Be Met In Order To Obtain A Mutual Consent Divorce In MD?
The parties must sign an Agreement and enter the Agreement into evidence at the Final Hearing. There is no requirement that the parties be separated for any time period to obtain a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce.
Are There Any Areas Or Items In A Divorce That Cannot Be Settled With A Mutual Consent Divorce?
As of October 1, 2018, all areas may be settled with a Mutual Consent Divorce: the law and use of Mutual Consent was expanded to apply/cover parties with minor children. Prior to the expansion, Mutual Consent was only available for those without minor children. The Agreement must (therefore) include a resolution to physical custody, child access, legal custody, and child support.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Mutual Consent Divorce?
A Mutual Consent Divorce may save on the expense of trying to use fault based grounds (like adultery). A downside of using Mutual Consent Divorce as a ground to obtain an Absolute Divorce may be that the Agreement must resolve all issues. Therefore, if the parties have most issues resolved and are at odds on any issues, a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce will not take place.
Do I Need An Attorney To File A Mutual Consent Divorce?
No. You do not need an attorney to file a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce. However, it is advisable to hire an attorney to draft and/or review your Settlement Agreement.
How Do I File For A Mutual Consent Divorce In Maryland?
To file for a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce, you must prepare a valid Complaint for a Mutual Consent Absolute Divorce, file the Complaint and proper attachments with the clerk in a county with proper jurisdiction, serve the Defendant, and bring your signed Agreement to the Final Hearing once a date is set/provided.
Will There Be A Hearing? How Do I Prepare For The Hearing?
Yes. Maryland divorces require a Hearing on the record. You may be required to show a copy of your marriage certificate at the Hearing. You must also bring a copy of your signed Agreement to the Hearing. A Maryland child support guideline worksheet may be required if child support is at issue.
How Long Does A Mutual Consent Divorce Take In Maryland?
The time for a Mutual Consent Divorce varies from County to County. If the Defendant is served promptly and files an Answer to the Complaint once served, most Counties should set a date within a month or two.
What If After The Divorce Is Granted, I Need To Have An Area Of The Decree Modified?
Certain aspects of an Agreement may be modified, depending on specific circumstances. For instance, child custody, visitation, and child support or usually modifiable if there is an existence of a material change of circumstance since the Agreement was put in place.
For more information on Mutual Consent Divorce In Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 400-2350 today.