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Surveying Marital Separation Agreements in Maryland

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Many spouses work through countless issues without resorting to divorce. But in certain cases, it may be in the best interest of both spouses to end the marriage. In those situations, it can be beneficial for the spouses to pursue a marital separation agreement.

What is a Marital Separation Agreement in Maryland?

A marital separation agreement in Maryland is a formal contract between spouses. This contract outlines key considerations that will allow the spouses to live apart, including:

  • Administration of child custody and support;
  • Alimony or spousal support;
  • Continued health insurance benefits; and
  • Equitable distribution of marital property.

It is crucial to note that a marital separation agreement is not a divorce. The spouses are still married to each other even though a marital separation agreement has been signed. A marital separation agreement does not allow either spouse to remarry or condone having sexual relations with other people. That being said, a marital separation agreement can serve as a stepping stone to divorce.

Additionally, the courts have discretion to adjust marital separation agreements, if necessary. Stated otherwise, the courts will review all marital separation agreements before execution. If there are illegal or improper provisions, the courts may decide to change or eliminate those provisions.

Are Marital Separation Agreements Permanent in Maryland?

Marital separation agreement can become permanent in Maryland, or they could be modified or terminated either by agreement of the spouses or order of a court.   For example, if spouses reconcile and end their separation, they might decide to revoke or terminate a written marital separation agreement.

What Happens if One Spouse Disregards a Marital Separation Agreement?

If one spouse violates any part of a marital separation agreement, there are serious consequences. The other spouse is allowed to sue in court for breach of contract. Then the courts may order the violating spouse to comply with the marital separation agreement or even assess additional penalties.  If the marital separation agreement has been incorporated into a court order, the court could also find the violating spouse in contempt of that court order and order further sanctions.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are entrenched in a marital separation agreement, child custody dispute or other facets of family law, don’t hesitate to contact a Maryland attorney for help. Reach out to Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered for the professional assistance that you need.

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