On October 1, 2015, Maryland’s new mutual consent grounds for divorce went into effect. See Family Law Code section 7-103(a)(8). This new grounds for divorce allows spouses who do not have minor children to obtain an immediate divorce, even if they are still residing together. The parties are required to enter into a written settlement agreement; and both parties must appear for the 10-minute uncontested divorce hearing.

The advantage of the mutual consent grounds is that spouses without children are no longer required to live apart for 1-year to obtain a divorce in Maryland. A mutual consent divorce is designed to allow divorces for spouses who cannot afford to maintain two households and for spouses who know that they will not reconcile.

The parties do not need a witness to testify at their mutual consent divorce hearing. Joint Request for a Mutual Consent Divorce form