Let’s say that you are married and miserable. You tried to work through your marital issues, you went to therapy, you separated and tried to see that would help but nothing worked. You and your spouse are still intent on getting a divorce. What is the quickest way to achieve this end? The typical way is living separate for 12 months. Must you live away from your spouse for a year before you can divorce and possibly marry again? There is a divorce ground available to you assuming that you and your spouse do not have minor children.
This ground is divorce by mutual consent. Divorce by mutual consent is available if:
- The parties do not have any children in common.
- The parties have executed and submitted to the court a written settlement agreement signed by both parties that resolves all issues relating to alimony and distribution of property.
- The parties do not request that the court set aside their written settlement agreement.
- Both parties will appear before the court at the absolute divorce hearing.
This ground is an improvement over the voluntary separation grounds for divorce.
Firstly, there is no requirement that the parties be separated for a period of time before the divorce. Previously, couples seeking divorce had to live separate and apart for 12 months without interruption or cohabitation. This was financially onerous for individuals with limited means. Moreover, this delayed the time a person could marry someone else.
Secondly, under divorce by mutual consent, there is no need for a corroborating witness. In the past, testimony was required from a person who talked to one or both of the parties to confirm that separation was voluntary. Finding a third party witness was not always easy for some couples. Therefore, dropping the witness requirement has simplified the divorce process.
Divorce is a difficult decision to make. However, if a married couple does not have children in common, agrees on finances and division of property, and wishes to move on with their lives, then then grounds of divorce by mutual consent has enabled them to divorce quickly and amicably as opposed to remaining married for an additional year.
Notice: This is not legal advice. This article is attorney advertising and legal information. This information does not establish an attorney-client relationship, which is only formed when you have signed an engagement agreement. We cannot guarantee results; past results do not guarantee future results.