It used to take a couple wanting to divorce almost a year to do so in Maryland. Not anymore. Since October 1, 2015, there is a new ground for divorce in Maryland – divorce by “mutual consent.” You can be divorced immediately, or as fast as the Court can process your case, if four conditions are met:
1. You have no minor children in common;
2. You have a signed, written settlement agreement covering both alimony and property rights that you submit to the Court;
3. Neither party asks the Court to set aside their written settlement agreement; and
4. Both parties appear at the uncontested divorce hearing.
This new ground for divorce is revolutionary in Maryland which had a long-standing policy of slowing divorce cases to encourage a reconciliation. The new law no longer requires the couple looking for a “no-fault” divorce to be separated for any period of time before filing for the divorce. This will allow couples to continue to live in the same home while they negotiate a settlement of their marital issues.