Mutual consent is available for all divorcing couples
In full swing since October 2018, all Maryland couples facing divorce can make the process easier, faster and less costly. Formerly, only couples without children could obtain a divorce by Maryland’s mutual consent law which hit the state legal scene in 2015. This allowed divorcing couples without children that are able to divide assets in a settlement agreement get a divorce in a few months instead of the year it can take in court for couples that can not come to an agreement regarding grounds for the divorce, asset distribution and factors such as alimony.
Now families with children that are separating have the benefit of mutual consent divorce which can lighten the financial burden on already financially strapped parents that face the added costs of splitting into two households. However, mutual consent is not for all divorcing parents. In addition to a settlement agreement, parents need to be open to disclosing income to each other so attorneys or parties can prepare child support guidelines to share with the court. For people that tend to shy away from disclosure, mutual consent may not be for you. In addition to child support guidelines, it is favorable for parents to share disclosure of assets such as retirement accounts, income and investments with each other and often without the benefit of the formal discovery process.
Where parties are open and able to agree, mutual consent can be very efficient, especially with the use of counsel to assist in the process. At the Law Offices of Dawn S. Veltman, we have spent countless hours drafting and editing marital settlement agreements on behalf of parties. We recommend taking advantage of our services early and having a prenuptial agreement drafted. However, for those that don’t, both post-nuptial agreements and settlement agreements can still divide assets without court intervention. When a plan for assets is made in this manner, you save both time and money because the court will hear divorce testimony and grant the divorce without intervening in your asset plan, leaving you with both freedom and control over the already stressful process of divorce.