Have you and your spouse determined it’s time to call it quits? As you might know, divorces aren’t always easy, but partners can make this process a little bit easier by filing for a mutual consent divorce. If your case qualifies for this filing, you and your spouse can save time and energy during the legal divorce process. Here’s what this type of divorce entails:
Mutual Consent in Maryland Divorce Filings
Under previous Maryland law, couples could only file for a divorce when fault grounds are proven or after a 12-month uninterrupted period of separation. Since Maryland passed the mutual consent divorce law in 2015, couples are able to file for divorce without having to prove separation or wrongdoing. More recently, Maryland allowed couples with minor children in common to use mutual consent as well.
When you file for a mutual consent divorce, you’re essentially working with your spouse to reach an agreement without the oversight of a judge. Once an agreement has been reached, the two of you (along with your respective divorce attorneys) will present the agreement to the judge and ask for those terms to be made part of your judgment of divorce
Does Your Case Qualify?
It may sound simple enough, but like most things, it’s easier said than done. To be eligible for a mutual consent divorce, you will need to show the court:
- A written settlement agreement that designates property, financial and alimony issues signed by both parties
- An agreement that resolves child custody issues signed by both parties.
- That both parties haven’t changed their minds from the time the agreement was signed to the date of your divorce hearing.
Although you and your spouse may mutually agree that the divorce should occur, it’s when it comes to making the above decisions that disagreements tend to happen. That’s why it’s recommended that you have a Maryland divorce attorney by your side to help you and your ex-spouse reach an agreement effectively.
What Happens After Reaching an Agreement?
After you and your ex-spouse meet the qualifications, your agreement documents will be presented to a judge during your divorce filing and the judge will include that agreement to determine the terms of your divorce. Keep in mind, the agreements will be merged, not incorporated, into your Judgement of Absolute Divorce.
Considering Filing for a Mutual Consent Divorce?
The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t go through this process alone. Having an experienced attorney by your side will help your chances of a favorable outcome and make you feel more comfortable and confident in your decisions. Alan L. Billian, P.A. is a Maryland divorce attorney with over 28 years of experience that is here to help you navigate the mutual consent divorce process. Call or contact us today for your free 30-minute consultation.