Maryland Passes Bill Allowing Mutual Consent as a Grounds for Absolute…

Maryland divorce attorney Brandon Bernstein

The previous policy didn't allow for parties with minor children to utilize mutual consent. Now that's been made available as well, and while there are a few additional hurdles to clear in such cases, I would expect it to be used by an increasing portion of couples who qualify.

The General Assembly of Maryland has enacted a provision to the grounds for absolute divorce in the state, updating its previously applied mutual consent policy. As of the latest update, parties with minor children may also pursue mutual consent divorce in Maryland if they're able to come to an agreement on all pertinent issues.

"This is a very noteworthy update to the state's family law, as since it was introduced, Maryland mutual consent has been widely practiced as an effective solution for parties looking to speed up the process of finalizing a divorce," says Brandon Bernstein, a five-time Super Lawyers Rising Star winner as a Maryland divorce attorney.

"The previous policy didn't allow for parties with minor children to utilize mutual consent, however," Mr. Bernstein continues. "Now that's been made available as well, and while there are a few additional hurdles to clear in such cases, I would expect it to be used by an increasing portion of couples who qualify."

Mutual consent in Maryland allowed divorcing parties to proceed to an absolute divorce without waiting for a one year separation period. The stipulation was that a settlement agreement needed to be agreed upon finalizing all matters of alimony and property distribution.

Now couples with minor children may also pursue an Absolute Divorce based on mutual consent as long as they come to an agreement as per the above, while also coming to an agreement on all matters relating to "the care, custody, access, and support of minor or dependent children." This then requires the completion and attachment of a child support worksheet to the separation agreement if applicable. The court must then be satisfied that the agreement is in the best interest of the children. In addition, both Parties must be present at the divorce hearing, and neither party may have moved to have the agreement set aside or invalidated. The full text of the bill can be found on the General Assembly of Maryland's website.

For many couples, the issues of child custody and child support are where a divorce becomes more hotly contested. However, if the two sides are able to come to amicable terms, potentially with the use of a Maryland divorce mediator, then they can also enjoy the benefits of a less time-consuming, stressful, and costly divorce via mutual consent.

For more information about mutual consent divorce in Maryland and how it can be used, visit BrandonBernsteinLaw.com. Prospective clients in the state of Maryland looking for a free consultation on the subject of mutual consent or other pertinent matters of a potential upcoming divorce proceeding may call 240.395.1418.

About the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein, LLC

The Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein, LLC is located in downtown Bethesda, and serves clients throughout the state as a divorce attorney in Maryland, covering a broad range of family law matters, and aggressively protecting the best interests of his clients at all times. He has been named a Maryland Rising Star by Super Lawyers for five consecutive years. The core pillars of his practice are Integrity, Experience, and Results. For a free attorney consultation, prospective clients can visit his website at BrandonBernsteinLaw.com, or call the office directly at 240.395.1418.

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