A separation agreement is a legally binding contract that is voluntarily entered into by Husband and Wife when they plan to live separate and apart with the intent to terminate the martial relationship. Maryland Law requires that the parties live in separate locations for not less than one year prior to filing a Complaint for Absolute Divorce.
A properly drafted Maryland separation agreement may include instructions as to how the marital property is to be divided, the amount of child support and alimony (if any) is to be paid to either party, as well as child custody and child visitation matters. The contract becomes enforceable as soon as both parties sign it, and with the exception of child support and custody matters, the court will typically refuse to modify the agreement without consent of both parties.
After a year, a Judgment of Absolute Divorce can be issued with the separation agreement incorporated. The incorporation of the agreement into the Judgment of Divorce makes the terms of the agreement enforceable by contempt proceedings. The benefit of a separation agreement is that it places important decisions as to how the marital property is to be divided and the care of children in the hands of the parties involved rather than leaving it solely to the discretion of a Judge.
The Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis is well versed in the practice of family law in the state of Maryland and has extensive experience in the preparation and enforcement of separation agreements. We provide our clients with personal attention, preparation and legal guidance in all matters of family law. If you are in need of a separation agreement, contact us today.