Magnetostrictive materials that couple mechanical and magnetic domains have been widely explored for use in sensors and actuators. These materials often exhibit a nonlinear material response under applied magnetic fields, which limits the use of linear constitutive models. Furthermore, the nonlinear constitutive relations tend to be implicit in nature. Hence, a finite element scheme that can handle the implicit relationship between the mechanical (stresses and strains) and magnetic (magnetic flux density and magnetic field) quantities is proposed in order to arrive at solutions to boundary value problems. In the proposed scheme, while the physical requirements of equilibrium and strain–displacement relation are satisfied point-wise, the constitutive relations hold in a weak integral sense. A fully coupled magnetostrictive plane stress rectangular element is developed based on the proposed scheme and its efficacy in arriving at solutions to coupled field boundary value problems is illustrated by subjecting the element to standard loading conditions. © 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.