What is a Maryland Separation Agreement?
Like other states, Maryland encourages divorcing couples to reach their own voluntary agreements about how they will separate their lives and property. However, this doesn't mean couples can agree to whatever they want: The court has the power to modify agreements regarding the care and support of the couple's children, for example.
Maryland Separation Agreement FAQ's
Do Maryland courts encourage separation agreements?
Yes. Separation agreements are generally favored by Maryland courts as a peaceful means of terminating marital strife and discord, as long as they are not contrary to public policy.
Can a separation agreement include terms that a court could not order?
Yes. Parties often include provisions that are beyond a court’s power to order. However, once included in a separation agreement, such terms can be enforced by court order.
What issues can be addressed in a separation agreement?
In Maryland, a husband and wife may make a valid and enforceable agreement that relates to alimony, support, property rights, or personal rights. Provisions regarding custody and visitation, child support, alimony, debts, pets, cars, household furnishings, health insurance, life insurance, retirement and survivor benefits, business interests, bank accounts and investments, and attorney fees may also be included in a separation agreement.
How is a separation agreement enforced?
Where a separation agreement has been incorporated into a divorce decree, the terms are enforceable either through contempt proceedings or as an independent contract.
Can a court modify or change the terms of a separation agreement?
A Maryland court may modify any provision of an agreement with respect to the care, custody, education, or support of any minor child of the parties, if the modification would be in the best interests of the child.