Q: When filing for separation does the other party have to moved. There are no children between the two.
There is tension between us and I can afford the mortgage on my own and I want to buy him out but I need a year to do it.
A: Unlike an Absolute Divorce on the ground of Voluntary Separation, when parties seek to divorce on the ground of Mutual Consent, there is no requirement that they live separate and apart prior to seeking to dissolve the marriage.
In Maryland, a divorce may be granted on the ground of Mutual Consent so long as the following conditions are met:
1. The parties have a signed settlement agreement that resolves property issues, alimony and issues related to dependent or minor children
2. Neither party seeks to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing
3. The parties attach a completed child support guidelines worksheet to the settlement agreement if it includes provisions for the payment of child support
4. The court is satisfied that the settlement agreement is in the best interests of the minor or dependent children, if any
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