As defined by Montgomery County law, a separation agreement is a contract between two spouses who want to either work out their marital differences by living separately for a certain amount of time or avoid divorce litigation altogether. It is crucial for contracts between spouses to be in writing, and they cannot be signed under force, coercion, threat, or promise. Montgomery County separation agreements could include temporary or final decisions on marital property, child custody, and spousal support issues.
Terms of an Agreement
Montgomery County law does not mandate the inclusion of any terms in separation agreements. The parties, whether they are husband and wife, two wives, or two husbands, dictate the terms of their separation because it is a voluntary process. It has to be an agreement that they both want to enter into for whatever reason. However, if they parties expect to use their separation as a grounds for divorce at a later time, they would be required to include certain terms.
Preparing for a Divorce
In order for a separation agreement to precede a mutual consent divorce, it must include provisions on alimony as well as custody if children are involved. It is imperative for the parties to address whether they are waiving alimony or if spousal maintenance will be awarded to one party. The contract must also define custody and access of the children and child support obligations for either parent. Otherwise, the parties must provide a reason for waiving child support if they want to reach a final divorce decree after separating.
Child support is not a right that belongs to the husband, wife, or parents. It is a right that belongs to the children. A parent cannot waive a child’s right to financial support unless it is in that child’s best interest or the court finds that there is a valid reason to do so. A judge would consider many factors about a family’s economic circumstances to determine what type of arrangement would best serve and uphold the child’s interests. In many cases, the court will honor an agreement if they feel that the child is adequately provided for.
Montgomery County separation agreements must also address how a couple’s marital property will be divided upon the dissolution of their marriage. All of a couple’s marital issues must be included in their contract if they want their separation to be the basis of either an uncontested divorce or a divorce by mutual consent. In addition, both parties must be satisfied with this agreement for it to be legally binding, and neither party can move to set it aside.
Contact an Attorney for Help with Montgomery County Separation Contracts
Montgomery County separation agreements offer married couples an opportunity to prepare for divorce or reconcile their contested marital issues. The drafting stages of a separation contract between two spouses are very important, and it is advisable to retain a steadfast and experienced lawyer for help. To ensure the legitimacy of your agreement, consider reaching out to attorney Tammy Begun today.