Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, and the dissolution of a marriage can have serious legal consequences for both spouses. However, even if two partners never officially get married but have children together, separating can still affect their futures.
Fortunately, any married person or parents who share children together can take steps to protect their rights with the help of a skilled marital contracts attorney. Either before or during a formal divorce, you can enter into a separation agreement to help you retain control over your future. A Bethesda separation agreements lawyer can help you draft a legally binding contract to protect your rights in the event of a potential divorce.
Separation Agreements Can Simplify a Divorce
Bethesda is located in an equitable marriage property state. Under Maryland Family Law §8-205, this means that local family courts must distribute property in an equitable, but not necessarily equal, manner. A separation contract in Bethesda can include terms on both spouses’ property rights and allocate certain assets between them.
Additionally, a separation agreement can outline the rights of both parties to demand alimony or spousal support during the process of a divorce. As long as the parties agree to the terms, and the terms are deemed fair and were not executed under force or duress, a judge is required to implement their separation agreement into a final divorce decree.
Couples may enter into these agreements prior to filing divorce or at any point during a contested marriage dissolution. A Bethesda separation contracts attorney can help draft these documents in a way that ensures their legal validity.
Using a Separation Agreement as a Civil Contract
Not every separation agreement involves a divorce. A separation agreement may be an important step to take if the marriage does not end in divorce but the parties no longer live together. State laws create grounds for a no-fault divorce if the parties remain separated for at least 12 months or if they have a written marital separation agreement that addresses all the issues within their marriage, including alimony and property rights.
A separation often also includes terms on the care and custody of children. Parties may enter these agreements that make decisions for their children on how custody and access will be divided post separation. However, the judge retains the ultimate authority to decide matters of child custody and child support in the best interest of the children and under Maryland law. A Bethesda separation agreements lawyer can help you reach an amicable resolution to your marital dissolution.
Call a Bethesda Separation Agreements Attorney Today
Getting married creates legal obligations and gives people with rights to property. Any divorce must account for those rights and make an equitable distribution of property. The fairest and easiest way to accomplish this equitable division may be to enter into a separation agreement.
In short, these are negotiated settlements to divorces where both parties agree to how their assets and debts will be divided upon divorce or separation. Working with a Bethesda separation agreements lawyer can help you identify key areas of concern, discern your goals, and draft a legally binding contract to help you to retain control over your future. Contact our firm today to learn more.