Mutual consent divorce is when you terminate your marriage by submitting a mutual consent divorce petition after both parties have decided on an amicable separation agreement. When both parties agree that a divorce would be mutually beneficial, the process is sometimes worth going through.
We realize how much divorce hurts and how it may break up families, that’s why you should keep reading to learn more about mutual consent divorce.
How To Get a Mutual Divorce?
You must demonstrate to the court the following to be qualified for a mutual consent divorce:
- Both parties have to sign a written settlement agreement that specifies property, financial, and alimony issues.
- An agreement signed by both parties addresses child custody disputes.
- That neither party has altered their thoughts between the signing of the agreement and the date of your divorce hearing.
Although you and your husband may agree that a divorce is necessary, disputes often arise when it comes to making the above options. Your agreement paperwork will be presented to a judge during your divorce filing after you and your ex-spouse meet the qualifications, and the court will analyze that agreement to determine the terms of your divorce.
Keep in mind that the agreements will be combined into your Decision of Absolute Divorce, not incorporated. It may appear straightforward, but like with most things, it’s easier said than done.
– States That Allow Divorce by Mutual Consent
No-fault divorce is available in every state in the United States. In only Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Dakota, the parties must agree to give information about incompatibility or why the marriage partners have changed, grown apart, or have irreconcilable differences in order to seek a no-fault divorce. When the married partners mutually agree that the marriage is no longer worth continuing, a no-fault divorce will make it simple for the couple to split.
Otherwise, only one party needs to petition for irreconcilable differences in the rest of the country, and any excuse will suffice.
Every state in the United States recognizes no-fault divorce in some form reason being it is easy and less expensive than a fault divorce, this alternative is more popular. Many people believe that a no-fault divorce puts a household with children under less stress than a fault divorce. By law, one party member must admit that the marriage is irreparably broken.
– Mutual Consent Separation
If a state mandates a separation time, one or both spouses may be forced to summon a witness to testify that they have been living separately.
Furthermore, a mutual consent separation may be the best solution for everyone involved if you’ve found yourself in this circumstance. In the United States, different states have their own set of grounds. At a divorce trial, a person must state why they desire a divorce and be able to prove that their cause is valid.
Additionally, the couple must live apart for several months before mutually agreed divorce. However, in many places, living apart is not considered grounds for divorce.
Advantages of Mutually Agreeable Divorce
Whether your ex-spouse wishes to contest or agree with the proceedings will determine how long it takes to finalize your divorce and how much it will cost.
Further here are some advantages of mutual agreement divorce:
- Speedy Process: United states allow couples who are prepared to work together to come to an agreement on post-marriage arrangements to avoid the 12-month separation period. Mutual consent agreements fall on each spouse because they are made outside of court proceedings (and a mediator should you choose to hire one). If you and your husband are on good terms, this is a wonderful option because you might complete the procedure in as little as four months instead of over a year.
- Benefit in co-parenting: After a mutual consent divorce, co-parenting is usually a lot easier. Starting on a positive note is considerably easier when there hasn’t been a tumultuous divorce process. You may be co-parenting for several years depending on your children’s age, therefore doing so on mutually accepted terms is always helpful for the entire family.
- Cost-effective: Although this isn’t a rule, mutual consent divorces are often less expensive than fought divorces. You’ll be able to avoid potentially costly legal fees if you handle all conversations outside of court. This may put you and your former spouse in a better financial position after the divorce.
There are two types of divorces: uncontested and disputed. Divorces that are not contested, also known as mutual consent divorces, are ones that are not challenged. As a result, there are no defense proceedings. Divorces that are disputed, on the other hand, are rare.
These disputes are usually more costly, take longer to settle, and are more complicated. This is because, in order to settle their case, the divorcing couple must attend at least two court hearings.
Mutual Divorce Process
As long as you meet certain qualifications, the partners are not required to be separated for any period of time before filing for divorce.
- If you and your spouse have no minor children in common, you may be eligible for a mutual consent divorce (this is true even if issues regarding the custody and support of your children are uncontested).
- Partners have signed a Marital Agreement (a legally binding settlement agreement that resolves alimony and property division issues).
- Before the divorce hearing, neither you nor your spouse requests the court to strike aside the Marital Settlement Agreement.
- Attend the uncontested divorce hearing with your spouse.
This law states that if you match the above criteria, you do not need to wait a year to divorce. It also implies that you and your husband can continue to live in the same house while negotiating the terms of your Marital Separation Agreement. This lowers the cost of obtaining your divorce because you will not be required to pay for a second property, as well as the associated expenses, during the transition time.
– Find a Suitable Attorney
If you want to file for a “mutual consent” divorce but don’t know how to fill out the forms or negotiate and/or prepare the necessary Marital Settlement Agreement, talk to an attorney who might be a suitable fit for you. When an attorney agrees to give you limited scope representation, it means that the attorney will assist you in specific areas but will not assume full responsibility for your case.
As a result, select an attorney who can assist you with a limited range of activities related to obtaining a mutual consent divorce. For example, the attorney can assist in the negotiation and/or preparation of the mandatory Marital Settlement Agreement on a limited basis.
– Circumstances Leading Prenuptial Agreement Unenforceable
Prior to filing for a mutual consent divorce, this agreement must be established and signed. The attorney can also assist in the preparation of the divorce complaint on a limited basis.
These discrete activities can be completed by an attorney on a limited scope basis, eliminating the need for you to pay for representation throughout the litigation. A Marital Settlement Agreement typically costs between $400 and $800 to negotiate and prepare. The cost of preparing a divorce complaint is between $200 and $500.
Given the Example of Maryland With Mutual Consent Divorce
The Maryland court would grant an absolute divorce for the couple in mutual consent for divorce and have them sign a written settlement agreement that touches all matters between them. This agreement should cover how child custody issues will be resolved, including any child support payments.
The state of Maryland also clarifies that if this agreement provides for child support, then it is crucial to attach a child support guidelines worksheet. Furthermore, if the couple’s monthly income combined is less than $15000, it is key to use the CC-DR-030 form, on the other hand, if the monthly income combined is more than $15000, it is ideal to use the CC-DR-031 form.
– Dealing With Property and Insurance
Your agreement must also include details on how the couple will deal with the marital property including family home and other family properties such as cars etc. Only certain property is considered as marital property, and subject to distribution in a divorce.
Consider including information such as health insurance benefits, and whether one spouse will financially support the other spouse with alimony or spousal support.
Negotiating a settlement agreement can be challenging because it is smart to take advantage of some court’s helpful resources when creating your agreement.
– Understanding the Rights
Before signing an agreement, you may want to speak to a lawyer to make sure you understand your rights. Consider hiring a lawyer, especially if your spouse has one or you may want to speak with a free lawyer at the Maryland court self-help center.
These lawyers cannot help you to represent you in court but give you brief advice on drafting a settlement agreement. The call center is open until 8 pm on most weekdays. Negotiating a marital agreement in a divorce case can be difficult and exhaustive.
– How Is Mediation a Good Way To Settle Dispute in Divorce?
Mediation is a form of negotiation, where the parties that participate in the process, do it voluntarily and directly. The procedure of Mediation involves, resolving disagreements under the supervision of a mediator. The goal, in this case, is to give the parties a fair, unbiased, and timely judgment or resolution. Meditation can be practiced for any reason.
In mediation, a trained neutral person will sit down with the couple to discuss the terms of the agreement. The process is confidential and voluntary, and it lets the couple decide on a solution that works for both of them.
Contact the Mediation and Conflict resolution office for more information. The participant may also want to check with the law library or the family law department at your circuit court to see if they have a sample of the settlement agreement form. Once they have signed the agreement, file it with the court, who will review the document and then schedule a hearing.
Within six months, divorce by mutual consent can be obtained, although no petition in such a case can be submitted within the first year of marriage. Between the first and second motions, there must be a six-month break. In some situations, the court may waive the cooling-off period.
So, in the case of mutual consent divorce, it normally takes 18-24 months. Further, we conclude the following:
- In the United States, different states have their own set of grounds. At a divorce trial, a person must state why they desire a divorce and be able to prove that their cause is valid. Also, the couple must live apart for several months before mutually agreed divorce.
- Every state in the United States recognizes no-fault divorce in some form reason being it is easy and less expensive than a fault divorce, this alternative is more popular. Many people believe that a no-fault divorce puts a household with children under less stress than a fault divorce.
- After a mutual consent divorce, co-parenting is usually a lot easier. Starting on a positive note is considerably easier when there hasn’t been a tumultuous divorce process.
- If you want to file for a “mutual consent” divorce but don’t know how to fill out the forms or negotiate and/or prepare the necessary Marital Settlement Agreement, talk to an attorney who might be a suitable fit for you. You can also use the process of mediation to make a mutual Marital Settlement Agreement.
- The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should not attempt this on your own. Having an experienced attorney on your side will increase your chances of a positive outcome and make you feel more at ease and secure in your selections.
Read the guidelines from the article and come to a legally valid decision before thinking of mutual divorce.
Start your process at the earliest!
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