A Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce is a no-fault ground for obtaining an absolute divorce when both parties do not have any minor children and have a signed a settlement agreement that speaks to all marital property issues.
There are two types of divorce in the State of Maryland—limited and absolute. A Maryland absolute divorce is a divorce – as it is commonly known and understood – that completely severs the marital relationship between the parties, and entitles them both to the right to remarry. A Maryland limited divorce, on the other hand, is essentially a legal separation where the parties are still married, but no longer live together and cannot remarry. A Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce is a no-fault ground to obtain an absolute divorce.
What is a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce
A Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce is a no-fault ground for obtaining an absolute divorce when both parties do not have any minor children and have a signed a settlement agreement that speaks to all marital property issues. Property issues include, but are not limited to, real property such as a home, pensions, and alimony.
What are the steps to obtaining a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce?
The parties must first draft and sign a settlement agreement regarding all property. After the agreement has been signed and the parties agree to all terms, the agreement is submitted to the court when they file for divorce. It is important to note that neither party can ask the court to set aside the agreement in their response once the agreement has been finalized. The court will then schedule a hearing within 45 days of filing. Once those two requirements are met and the hearing is held, a Maryland Circuit Court will then grant the parties an absolute divorce without requiring separation.
What are the benefits of a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce?
A Maryland Mutual consent divorce has many benefits. The most important benefit is that it allows parties who do not have minor children to obtain a divorce without having to separate for the one year waiting period that they would under normal circumstances. In fact, the Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce does not require that the parties separate for a specific period as it would under normal separation circumstances.
Another benefit is that the parties do not have to separate to obtain the divorce if the agreement speaks to that issue. This incentive gives the parties an opportunity to figure out their respective living arrangements and still reside in the same home, instead of waiting until that has been resolved to make the initial filing for divorce. Further, this benefit alleviates the cost of finding a new residence and incurring more expenses during this transition period.