6 Key Provisions of Marital Separation Agreements in Maryland
During a Maryland divorce, it is possible for the spouses to simplify the process and execute a marital separation agreement. If the spouses can reach mutual agreement on a number of important terms, then divorce can be as simple as signing a contract in Maryland.
While each marital separation agreement is different, most of these documents involve similar provisions. The following sections will provide an overview of six important provisions that appear in many marital separation agreements.
- Agreement to Separate and End Marriage
In this section, the spouses mutually agree to end their marriage and continue voluntary separation. After entering into the agreement, the spouses officially relinquish all marital rights. Execution of the agreement will sever marital duties and responsibilities as stated in the contract. However, the parties will remain legally married until a Judgment of Absolute Divorce is granted by the court.
- Disclosure or Waiver of Disclosure of Finances and Assets
In this section, the spouses must disclose all of their finances or waive such disclosure. This includes all shared marital property and individually owned assets. If the parties do not waive disclosure, then if either spouse fails to disclose all of their property and assets, it may jeopardize the marital separation agreement. Consequently, it is vital for each spouse to issue a complete disclosure of finances and assets.
Additionally, the spouses must agree on property division. Certain spouses liquidate all assets and divide the funds proportionally. Other spouses divide up personal property and assets on a case-by-case basis. Either way, the spouses must reach a mutual understanding and provide a written explanation in the marital separation agreement.
- Disclosure or Waiver of Disclosure of Debts, Liabilities and Expenses
In this section, the spouses must disclose all of their debts, liabilities and expenses or agree to waive such disclosure. In most cases, each spouse agrees to pay their own debts. But in certain cases, the other spouse may assume responsibility for certain debts. If that is the case, the spouses must outline their understanding in the marital separation agreement.
- Alimony or Spousal Support
In this section, the spouses must detail their agreement concerning alimony or spousal support. If either spouse will receive support payments, the relevant details will appear in this section. Alternatively, if either spouse wishes to waive alimony or support, it will in writing in this section of the marital separation agreement.
- Child Custody and Visitation
In this section, the spouses must reach an agreement concerning child custody and visitation schedules. The spouses determine legal custody and where the children will live. For the non-custodial parent — with whom the children do not live — a detailed visitation schedule will account for weekdays, weekends, holidays and related considerations.
- Child Support and Healthcare
In this section, the spouses establish all responsibilities concerning child support and healthcare. If either spouse will pay child support, the amount and frequency of payments appear in this section. Additionally, the spouses must agree on the distribution of costs for health insurance and other medical care.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you are pursuing divorce and would like to consider a marital separation agreement, it can be exceedingly helpful to reach out to an adept family law attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have more than 55 years of combined legal experience in matters of criminal defense and family law, including marital separation agreements. If you need legal help, contact us for an initial consultation.