Separation Agreements (Maryland)
What is a Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement is a binding contract that allows you and your spouse to outline specific details with regard to your separation and divorce including but not limited to custody, child support, alimony, real property, personal property, monetary award, retirement, attorneys fees, and taxes. The purpose of a settlement agreement is to state, in a writing signed by both parties, the terms that both parties accept to resolve their disagreement.
Are there different types of Agreements?
Yes, depending on your goals, you can resolve a variety of issues with different types of Agreements. For example:
A temporary or interim agreement can resolve immediate issues for a certain period of time. Examples would be interim agreements to address a child custody arrangement, support, who moves out of the house, etc. These types of agreements are not meant to be long term and either expire on a date certain or when the parties reach a further agreement or there is an order by the court.
A partial agreement allows parties to resolve some but not all of their disputed issues. The remaining issues are left for the parties to either resolve or for the court to make a determination.
A final, global, agreement allows parties to resolve all of their disputed issues without court involvement.
Do we have to reach an Agreement before filing with the Court?
No, agreements can be reach while there is a pending court case or before either party files with the court.
Why should I consider resolving my case by Agreement?
In many cases it is best for the family for parties to resolve their domestic dispute by agreement. Often times cases are resolved much faster if done by agreement then by litigation. When resolved by agreement, the parties control the terms. If litigated, the result is unpredictable. It is often less expensive to reach an agreement then it is to litigate a domestic dispute in court. Agreements can be tailored to meet the specific needs of both parties and issues can be addressed in greater detail than if resolved by court order. One of the biggest benefits to resolving a domestic case by agreement is that the parties can agree to terms beyond what a judge can order.