A New Option for Married Couples with or without Minor Children in Maryland to File for Absolute Divorce Without Having to be a Separated.
Prior to October 1, 2018, married couples with minor children could not take advantage of Mutual Consent as a ground for absolute divorce. As of October 1, 2018, married couples in Maryland who have minor children may qualify to obtain an absolute divorce based on Mutual Consent, without any requirement to live separate and apart, if the following requirements are met:
- The parties execute and submit to the court a written settlement agreement signed by both parties that resolves all issues relating to the parties’ divorce including, but not limited to, alimony (if any), division of marital property (if any), child custody and child support with attached child support worksheet (if the couple have children together);
- Neither party files a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing required under the Maryland Rules; and
- After reviewing the settlement agreement, the court is satisfied that any terms of the agreement relating to minor or dependent children are in the best interests of those children (f the couple have children together).
- If a court decrees an absolute divorce on the grounds of mutual consent, the court may incorporate the settlement agreement into the divorce decree; and
- modify or enforce the settlement agreement.