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Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce with or Without Children

    1. Start your Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce With or Without Children.
      Purchase Mutual Consent Divorce without Children here. $349.00
      Purchase Mutual Consent Divorce with Children here. $399.00

Do you qualify for a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce? Take our online quiz.

Click on the divorce documents option you need to register and access the secure online questionnaire(s).

You may save your answers and return later. When ready to move forward, pay by credit card and submit the questionnaire for attorney review. Your document purchase will include as much legal advice as you need to prepare your documents.

We will review all of your submitted information to make sure your documents are correct, provide you with legal advice about your divorce, and provide you with detailed filing instructions.

There is no one-year waiting period for an uncontested divorce — if you meet the new qualifications for a “Mutual Consent Divorce in Maryland“,  effective October 1, 2015, and now includes parties with minor children as of October 1, 2018.

Qualifications for a “Mutual Consent Divorce in Maryland”

Effective October 1, 2015, Maryland has a new kind of no-fault, uncontested divorce called a “Mutual Consent Divorce”.  This divorce is filed under the ground of mutual consent. This kind of divorce is also called an “Absolute Divorce” and is the same legal, final divorce that has always been authorized by Maryland law.

Maryland’s divorce law is changing as of October 1, 2023.

However, there are no changes for a mutual consent divorce.

[See Blog for changes to Maryland Divorce Law as of October 1, 2023 ].

When enacted in 2015, the new ground of mutual consent did not apply to parties with minor children. Divorcing couples with minor or dependent children can now take advantage of a Mutual Consent Divorce. This means that you don’t have to live separate and apart for a one-year period before filing for divorce. Because you don’t have to wait for the 12-month separation period, you can move on with your life without incurring the expense of having to live separate and apart – even with minor or dependent children. One or both parties must still be a current resident of Maryland and have been a legal resident of Maryland for at least the six-month period immediately before filing.

However, to qualify for a Mutual Consent Divorce (with or without children), you must enter into a written Marital Separation Agreement (signed by both parties in front of a Notary prior to filing the divorce). The written Agreement must cover all of the following issues:

  • Full disclosure about the handling of alimony or spousal support
  • Agreement about division of all property and marital assets (and debt)
  • Full details related to the minor or dependent children, including child support. A completed worksheet for child support guidelines must be attached to the Marital Separation Agreement.
  • There must be no disagreement between the parties as to the issues, and neither party can ask the Court to set aside the Marital Separation Agreement.

New Requirement for Parties with Minor Children

As of January 1, 2020, Maryland requires that all divorcing parties with minor or dependent children in common create and execute (sign) a Parenting Plan that more clearly outlines decision-making authority and parenting time with the children based on the children’s best interests. The Plan must be signed by both parties and attached to the Complaint and the Separation Agreement at filing. We provide this document with your Mutual Consent package purchase (you will complete a separate questionnaire to prepare this document).

If you do not provide the executed Marital Separation Agreement (and Parenting Plan, if applicable), your mutual consent divorce will not be granted. The Court must also find that the terms of the Marital Separation Agreement and Parenting Plan are satisfactory as they relate to the minor or dependent children and are in the children’s best interest.

Physical Separation before Filing no Longer Required

A mutual consent divorce does not require the couple to be separated for any period before filing for the divorce, whether there are minor children or not. You can still live in the same home and file under this ground. The only other existing, no-fault ground for absolute divorce in Maryland requires parties to be separated (living separate and apart, without intimate contact and no overnight stays) for an entire year before they can file. A written Separation Agreement is recommended, but not required by law, if filing under the one-year separation ground.

This mutual consent ground means that if you qualify and execute a Marital Separation Agreement (and Parenting Plan, if applicable), you can file for divorce as soon as each party has executed (signed before a Notary) the Marital Separation Agreement.

This is a new feature of Maryland Divorce Law, as previously, you would have to live separate and apart. If you qualify for a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce, you will not have to live separate and apart.

Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce Service

        • Our flat fee legal services for a  Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce comes with all of the forms you need, plus any legal advice you need.
      • We provide you with legal advice every step of the way. You don’t get this service when you purchase your divorce forms from just a legal forms Web Site.

Compare our services to legal form websites where all you get are legal forms without legal advice.

The Hearing for a Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce

At the hearing for Absolute Divorce, you will no longer need a corroborative witness.  While a witness is no longer required to testify at a divorce hearing in Maryland, you will still need to testify as to the circumstances of your case and prove that you meet the requirements for the grounds for divorce.  A witness is a person who testifies for you and supports your version of the facts. The witness gives his/her testimony based on the facts he/she saw or heard.  Having a witness with knowledge of your case may still be useful but is now optional.  We provide detailed instructions so you can represent yourself in the divorce hearing.

Appearance at the Hearing: If you file for a “Mutual Consent” Divorce, it is no longer required that both parties attend and participate in the hearing. Only one party (the Plaintiff) is required to attend the hearing to testify as to the facts and circumstances of the case. The other party is welcome, but not required, to attend.

Guarantee: We offer a 100% refund if you are not satisfied.

Last updated September 28, 2024