Baltimore County Divorce Lawyer Praises Mutual Consent For Couples Without Children.
In May of this year, we wrote a blog alerting you to the fact that several bills seeking to change certain divorce laws in Maryland were making their way through the state legislature. At the time, the changes had not taken effect; however, according to the Baltimore Sun, certain new divorce laws took effect as of October 1, 2015.
What Has Changed In The Maryland Family Law Article?
Prior to the law changing, Maryland couples who agreed to go their separate ways amicably still had to wait for a period of one year before they could file for divorce. Now, the law provides for a new no-fault ground for divorce in the state known as the "mutual consent" ground. It is important to note, however, that not everyone will be able to use this ground, particularly those couples who share minor children -- even if all the child support and custody issues have been worked out.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Zirkin from Baltimore County sparked the change in the law and he noted that the measure will "help thousands of Marylanders to move on with their lives." A local attorney and co-chair of the family law section of the Maryland State Bar Association commented that the change in the law was "a huge development."
The Conditions That Must Be Met for a "Mutual Consent" Divorce
Currently, there are four conditions that must be met to qualify for a mutual consent divorce. First, as noted above, the divorcing couple must not have any minor children in common. Next, they must have signed (and submitted to the court) a written settlement agreement that discusses property rights and alimony.
Once that agreement has been signed and submitted, neither party can seek to have that agreement set aside by the court. The final condition that must be met is both parties must show up to the uncontested divorce hearing. Couples meeting all four of these conditions may qualify for a divorce based on mutual consent.
The Advantage of Mutual Consent Divorces
This particular change in the law is highly significant, primarily because it no longer calls for couples who have met the above-mentioned conditions to separate for any length of time before they can file for divorce.
What the law does is allow couples to remain under the same roof while they hash out the details of their settlement agreement -- and they won't be subject to a delay in seeking their divorce. Previously, if a couple continued to live together while attempting to reach a settlement, their divorce would be delayed.
Senator Zirkin noted that the changes are part of a broader re-examination of the state's approach to divorce in general. He stated that, "this is not the end in terms of modernizing our law." If you have questions about how the new divorce laws may affect your rights and obligations, contact a Towson family law lawyer at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Call For a Free Consultation With a Baltimore County & Mays Chapel Family Law Firm.
Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore & Towson Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.