Start your Maryland Mutual Consent Divorce With or Without Children
Click on the package you need to register and access the secure online questionnaire. You may save your answers and return later. When you’re ready to move forward, simply pay by credit card and submit the questionnaire to attorney review. Your document purchase will include as much legal advice as you need for the preparation of your documents and filing with the Court.
We will review all of your information to make sure your documents are correct, provide you with legal advice, and provide you with detailed filing instructions.
Now 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 October 1, 2018.
Qualifications for a “Mutual Consent Divorce in Maryland”
Effective October 1, 2015, Maryland has a new kind of divorce called a “Mutual Consent Divorce.’ If you don’t have any children you can qualify for this divorce which does not require a one year waiting period. This new divorce is called a “Divorce by Mutual Consent”. This kind of divorce is also called an “Absolute Divorce” and legally is the same divorce that has always been authorized by Maryland law.
Now as of October 1, 2018: Divorcing couples who have minor or dependent children can 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 dependent children. One or both parties must still have been a legal resident of Maryland for at least the six month period immediately prior to filing.
However, to qualify for a Mutual Consent Divorce (with or without children) you must enter into a written Marital Separation Agreement and the Agreement must cover all of the following issues:
- Full disclosure about the handling of alimony or spousal support
- Agreement with regard to division of all property and marital assets (and debt)
- Full details of the care, custody, access, and support of minor or dependent children, including a completed worksheet for child support guidelines attached to 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.
- Both parties must be present at the uncontested divorce hearing.
If you do not provide the executed Marital Separation Agreement, your mutual consent divorce will not be granted. The Court must also find that the terms of the Marital Separation Agreement are satisfactory as they relate to the minor or dependent children and are in the best interest of the children.
Physical Separation before Filing no Longer Required
This type of divorce does not require the couple to be separated for any period of time before filing for the divorce, whether you have children or not. The only other existing, no-fault ground for absolute divorce in Maryland requires parties to be separated for an entire year before they can file.
Only after a couple has lived in separate residences for twelve months can one of them file for a divorce on no-fault grounds.
This mutual consent ground means that if you qualify and execute a Marital Separation Agreement, you can file for divorce as soon as each party as 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 coach you every step of the way. You don’t get this service when you purchase your divorce forms from just a legal forms Web Site.
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 ground 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 you with detailed instructions so you can represent yourself in the divorce hearing.
If you file for A “Mutual Consent” Divorce, both parties will have to attend and participate in the hearing.
Guarantee: We offer a 100% refund if you are not satisfied.
Last updated January 4, 2019.