Do I have to wait to get divorced? Do I qualify for a Mutual Consent Divorce?

Once you’ve decided you want to be divorced, you don’t want to have to wait. But divorces can take a bit of time, and separating so that you live under separate roofs can be expensive. The mutual consent divorce ground has been around in Maryland for nearly two years now and can alleviate the strain of having to wait.

What is the advantage of a mutual consent divorce?

  • It can be fast. A faster divorce means both you and your spouse can move on to find your own, separate happiness.
  • It doesn’t require living under two separate roofs. Whether it’s because emotions are running high, or because you can’t sell the marital home, or neither of you wants to move out of the house yet, or the finances won’t allow you to have two separate homes, separating homes can seem an impossibility. This ground allows people who are living together to be divorced anyway.
  • It can save you money. As with any divorce, a signed agreement is the cheapest way to resolve the issues between yourself and your spouse.

What are some of the disadvantages of mutual consent divorce?

  • Rushing to get a signed agreement is not always the smartest way to proceed: do you know what assets you each have? Be careful not to give away property or support rights you might be entitled to under the law and that might be important to you as you separate and establish your new life.
  • The faster you are divorced, the faster you have to get your own health insurance if you are covered on your spouse’s plan.

Who does qualify?

  • Divorcing couples who do not have children together or who have adult children.
  • Divorcing couples who have a signed, written settlement agreement that covers at least alimony and property rights.

Who doesn’t qualify?

  • Folks with minor children in common do not currently qualify for a divorce on mutual consent.
  • Folks who do not have a signed, written settlement agreement that covers at minimum alimony and property rights do qualify cannot get divorced on this ground.

Do we have to go to court?

  • If you qualify, both parties have to attend the uncontested divorce hearing and neither person can have asked the Court to set aside the agreement.

Can we still live together?

  • Unlike Maryland’s separation ground, this ground does NOT require living separate and apart.

How long will it take to get the divorce?

  • In our experience, if you already have the signed agreement, you will be divorced within 30-60 days. Like so many things, it depends on the court docket and the responsiveness of your spouse, too.

What do we do if we don’t qualify?

  • You can still get divorced, you just can’t divorce on the mutual consent ground. For most people (including those with minor children), this means you will have to live separate and apart for one year (unless you qualify for an immediate ground for divorce, like adultery).

McCabe Russell, PA, can help with a divorce on any ground, including mutual consent grounds. Contact us for your consultation today.

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