What is a Separation Agreement?

An agreement forged by two people who are married but no longer wish to live as a couple. By marrying, a couple creates a shared life rooted in rights and responsibilities, which can make the process of ending that union both strenuous and complicated.

Since a separation agreement is often an essential step in dissolving a marriage, having a skilled Maryland lawyer on your side during the separation process can make all the difference. At Z Family Law, we’ll arm you with qualified representation and advocate for your best interests as this critical legal document is crafted and executed.

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Separation Agreements in Maryland

Under Maryland law, there is no official status for a legal separation; couples are either married or divorced. However, when couples decide to live apart in anticipation of divorce, separation agreements can come into play. In these types of cases, couples may choose to enact what is known as a separation agreement, marital settlement agreement, or property settlement agreement. Phrasing aside, these terms all signify the same thing: an enforceable, legally binding contract between spouses that outlines matters such as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, health and life insurance, division of property, and more.

In Maryland, separation agreements must be written, signed, and notarized to be deemed enforceable. Resolving all of your spousal issues in the separation agreement itself could make the divorce process less contentious, and may even decrease your overall costs. Should you decide to move forward with the divorce, your separation agreement can be incorporated into your divorce decree. If you decide not to divorce, on the other hand, your separation agreement can remain in effect as a contract. In the event that you reconcile before your divorce is final, you and your spouse have the ability to revoke the separation agreement by finalizing the decision in writing.

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Do You Need a Maryland Separation Agreement Lawyer?

In Maryland, most couples who end their marriage obtain an absolute divorce. This type of divorce grants each spouse the right to marry other people, and it permanently severs their marital bond. However, there must be grounds for an absolute divorce, and mutual consent happens to be one of the most common grounds cited.

Because a mutual consent divorce requires a separation agreement, before your marriage is dissolved, creating a separation agreement is an extremely important step as you navigate the path to divorce. A separation contract could also come in handy if you’re involved in a trial separation and haven’t decided unequivocally whether you want to divorce. This agreement will outline the terms of your separation and may also address issues like how you’ll parent your kids, or who will pay the bills in the period before the divorce is finalized.

The bottom line is that a separation agreement can profoundly impact your financial security as well as the lives of your children. Seeking guidance from an attorney well-versed in Maryland separation agreements means you’ll get the advice and assistance you need to protect your rights before, during, and after your marriage ends.

Finding the Right Separation Attorney for You

As you navigate this challenging time, a trusted legal team who can help you make rational, well-guided decisions is essential. After all, when it comes to writing your new happily ever after, the importance of finding strategic and compassionate counsel focused solely on family law cannot be understated. By combining our vast legal experience, our tenured team can design a tailored strategy to help you take back your power and build the new beginning you deserve.

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