The Maryland General Assembly passed an important update to Maryland divorce laws which went into effect earlier this month, as of October 1st, 2015. The update is actually in the form of an addition of a new grounds for absolute divorce in Maryland, that of “Mutual Consent”. Here, we’ll explain what Mutual Consent is, how it works, and whom it may apply to in Maryland.
The key benefit of Mutual Consent is that it allows certain couples to proceed with divorce without being legally mandated to wait for the typical separation period one year. Instead, eligible parties can move ahead with their absolute divorce hearing immediately.
Mutual Consent in Maryland applies to parties who do not have children in common who are currently minors. In this case, Mutual Consent can be applied and the parties can move straight to the divorce, as long as several key steps are completed.
The parties must execute, write and sign a legal settlement agreement which handles all issues related to alimony and property distribution. Neither party can then file to set aside that agreement prior to the divorce hearing. At this point, both parties must attend the absolute divorce hearing in court, and then the divorce can be swiftly completed.
For those who meet the criteria for the new divorce laws in Maryland, Mutual Consent provides an option to get this chapter of their lives done in less time, with presumably less hassle, stress and hardship along the way. Instead of waiting for a full year with the issue hanging over their head, a fresh start and new life can begin as soon as the above simple steps are completed.
For more information on Maryland separation and divorce laws, or to schedule a free consultation to begin discussing your case, call our office at 240.395.1418 today.