If you and your spouse would prefer not to live under the same roof anymore, it might be time for a marriage separation. However, living in different households may become stressful when the two of you have not come to an understanding about bills, kids, and property.

A skilled Frederick separation agreements lawyer might be able to help you and your estranged spouse to come to a consensus about finances and custody, as well as any other matters that may cause a dispute in the future. Whether you are hoping to later reconcile or just want a more peaceful divorce or separation until you are ready to file, a dedicated family attorney might be able to provide invaluable assistance.

What is a Separation Agreement?

Couples in Frederick are permitted to form a deed, agreement, or settlement to be followed while they are living apart during a marriage separation. Under Maryland Code Family Law Code §8-101, married persons can agree via a binding and enforceable contract to live separately and to settle matters pertaining to alimony, support, property rights, children, or personal rights.

A marriage separation agreement is commonly used to address either all or some of the issues that pertain to parties separation. It is prudent to include matters pertaining to custody and access of the children (if any), child support and/or alimony or emergency family maintenance, to name a few. Additionally, many estranged parents who share children may form a parenting agreement that could settle all matters pertaining to the custody, access, and visitation of the children. It is highly advisable to have the advice and counsel of a marriage separation attorney while negotiating, reaching any agreement, and finalizing a marital separation agreement.

If distanced partners have purchased real property or other expensive items together, these financial matters must be addressed at the time of divorce, either by litigating the matter in front of a judge or settling it with a full and final marital separation agreement. Furthermore, couples will need to address how they will handle their marital debt during the separation and finally upon divorce. A capable Frederick separation agreements attorney could assist with all of these issues and more.

Separation in Preparation for Divorce

Legally separated couples are authorized by MD Code Fam L §7-102 to seek a limited divorce while they wait to file for a permanent or an absolute divorce. A limited divorce does not perpetually end the marriage, it is like a “little” divorce. A tribunal may decree a limited divorce (akin to a legal separation) for a short time or for an indefinite period.

A Maryland court has the power to rescind a limited divorce order upon the mutual request of a reconciled couple. However, since a limited divorce is not absolute, a couple separated through one may not remarry other partners while a limited divorce is in effect. An experienced separation agreement lawyer in Frederick may be knowledgeable about limited divorces for couples who are living apart.

Absolute Divorce

Per MD Code Fam L §7-103, a court may grant an absolute divorce if there are acceptable grounds to do so, such as mutual consent or one full year of continuous separation. By drafting a pre-divorce document, an estranged couple may be able to streamline the divorce process, as they may have already ironed out many important details. Moreover, the partners may present the settlement document to the court as evidence of both mutual consent and 12-month separation, so that the tribunal might grant a dissolution of their marriage.

A Frederick court may enforce a Frederick legal separation agreement under the power of contempt after it is incorporated, but not merged, into the parties’ judgment of absolute divorce. However, per MD Code Fam Law §8-105, the tribunal has the authority to modify the settlement document as well.

Speak with a Frederick Separation Agreements Attorney Today

Separated couples who share assets and children may wish to proceed with caution. If you are living apart from your estranged partner, it may be beneficial for you to form an enforceable contract that makes the terms of your separation clear.

A Frederick separation agreements lawyer may be available to discuss your options for drafting such a document. Call today to make an appointment for a consultation.