Effective October 1, 2018, the Maryland Courts will be authorized to grant an Absolute Divorce on the grounds of Mutual Consent for parties with minor children. When it was initially passed in 2015, the Maryland Legislature decided that the Mutual Consent ground was not available to parties who had minor children in common. In order to obtain a divorce under the mutual consent ground, the parties must have a written settlement agreement that provides for the care, custody, access, and support of minor or dependent children. A completed child support guidelines worksheet must be submitted to the Court. The Court must be satisfied that the terms of the agreement are in the best interest of the minor children.
The parties must also submit a written settlement agreement that resolves all of their issues with regard to alimony, property division and finances. Husband and Wife must appear before the Court and testify to support the terms of their agreement. They must testify that they have no intention to file an action to set aside the agreement. There is no waiting period for the divorce under the Mutual Consent ground.