Prior to the passage of a new divorce law in Maryland, couples who wish to file for a no-fault divorce had to wait 12 months to do so. Starting in October 2015, couples without minor children who wish to divorce on “mutual consent” grounds may bypass the former 12 month waiting period that had been a requirement. They must come up with a written separation agreement that settles spousal support and the division of marital property.
With the passage of this new law, a couple seeking a divorce on a mutual consent ground would file a complaint for absolute divorce along with a settlement agreement. Both spouses would be required to be present at the hearing.
Now couples who agree to all of the terms of the divorce will be able to save both time and money. If a couple did have any kind of dispute or disagreement about the terms of their separation, they could utilize the normal means available to resolve that dispute.
Other changes to the law
In addition to the reduction in the time parties had to be separated prior to their filing for divorce, the time needed for one of the parties to reside in Maryland, if the grounds for divorce took place outside of the state of Maryland, is also reduced from a year to six months. The new law also removes certain required elements of the grounds of limited divorce. If a married couple is already living apart and one of them decides that they want to divorce, they can do so with a much more simplified process.
These three revisions in the law represent the incremental changes that are taking place in Maryland divorce law.
While the changes in the law make obtaining a divorce by mutual consent much simpler, getting to a place of mutual consent requires the help of an experienced Annapolis divorce lawyer. You want to ensure that your rights are being protected and that you can still get the most favorable settlement possible. With this streamlined process, you can settle your divorce and move on with your life in a far more reasonable time frame.
If you are considering divorce, please contact Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC to reserve a consultation time with a skilled Annapolis divorce attorney. We proudly serve clients throughout the state of Maryland.