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What Are Spousal Agreements Under Maryland Family Law?

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Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal contracts that exist between married spouses under Maryland family law. These types of contracts are often referred to generally as Spousal agreements, and can involve a number of important considerations for a married couple. Though Maryland family law does impose specific restrictions on what spousal agreements can involve.

What Can Spousal Agreements Involve?

The acceptable boundaries of spousal agreements appear under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-101. This section enables spouses to make valid and enforceable deeds or agreements with respect to:

  • Alimony;
  • Other forms of spousal support;
  • Property rights; or
  • Personal rights.

On a related note, Section 8-101 also addresses the topic of settlement. If there is a dispute between the spouses, this section allows a valid and enforcement settlement with respect to:

  • Alimony;
  • Other forms of spousal support;
  • Property rights; or
  • Personal rights.

It is vital to note an important exception to spousal agreements under Maryland family law. These deeds, agreements, and settlements are not allowed to be the final word on issues related to custody, visitation and child support.  Any such provisions that are contained in a spousal agreement must be reviewed and approved by a court of competent jurisdiction as being in the best interest of the children involved.

Can Spousal Agreements Prevent Future Divorce?

In short, no, spousal agreements cannot prevent a future divorce under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-102. This section provides that either party may pursue absolute or limited divorce, regardless of any spousal agreement that was executed:

  • When the spouses were living together or apart; or
  • Before, during, or after the existence of a reason for divorce.

Can the Courts Modify Spousal Agreements?

The state courts are allowed to modify spousal agreements under the conditions of Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-103. From a general standpoint, the Maryland courts may modify any deed, agreement, or settlement between spouses with respect to the:

  • Care of a minor child;
  • Custody of a minor child;
  • Education of a minor child; or
  • Support of a minor child.

Though as noted previously, the Maryland courts must ensure that any such modification serves the best interests of the child or children involved.

In addition, the Maryland courts may modify any deed, agreement, or settlement between spouses with respect to alimony or spousal support. But this power to modify does not apply if the spousal agreement contains a:

  • Waiver of alimony or spousal support; or
  • Provision that excludes alimony or spousal support from court modification.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you have questions about marital agreements, reach out to the Bel Air postnuptial agreement attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered. We are eager to assist you today.

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