3 Things to Know about Marital Settlement Agreements in Maryland
Marital settlement agreements in Maryland are typically drafted early in the divorce process. This type of document allows couples to settle affairs related to property division and marital assets. In addition, child support, custody, and alimony are often addressed in the contract. Both parties usually choose to draft a settlement agreement because it expedites the divorce process and protects each party’s rights during the divorce. Without one, the court system may decide matters related to child support, custodial rights and division of property. Most couples want to prevent this at all costs.
It’s also important for both parties to have exceptional legal counsel while writing up marital settlement agreements in Maryland. It will be necessary for a court to verify that the contract is fair, equal and legally sound. Only an expert attorney can ensure your agreement is completed correctly.
1. Marital Settlement Agreements Cover These Specific Issues
Marital settlement agreements in Maryland cover key topics like property division and child support payments, but they also address these issues:
- Visitation rights
- Spousal maintenance
- Division of debts
- Health insurance
- Pension plans
- Disposition of the marital home
- Any future dispute settlements
As long as both parties come to a fair and equal decision on these topics and there is no coercion or fraud involved, the court will likely approve the agreement. The couple may modify alimony or child-related decisions in the agreement if both individuals approve the changes. However, any agreements regarding marital property are final. In certain cases, such as those involving minors, a court order may require modifications.
If a couple has no debts, marital property or shared children, they may not need this type of agreement to move forward with a divorce. If you’ve been married for fifteen years, have three minor children, and a large number of assets to settle, however, this contract will be beneficial to you.
2. When Marital Settlement Agreements are Drafted
You may be wondering when you should begin drafting your contract. Most marital settlement agreements are drafted by separating couples before an official divorce filing. By the time both parties have agreed to separate, they usually want to address these important issues right away. When people don’t take proactive steps to settle their affairs, the legal process can be long and drawn out. It’s best to partner with a lawyer as soon as possible so you can achieve a favorable outcome and move forward in life.
3. You Can’t Write Up a Marital Settlement Agreement if Your Divorce is Contested
One of the first statements you’ll find on a marital settlement agreement in Maryland is: “Use this form if you want a divorce and you and your spouse agree on how to settle all matters between you.” By entering into this agreement, both parties essentially state that their divorce is uncontested. The couple confirms their intent to separate and decide for themselves how their interests will be handled. In unamicable or contested divorces, one or both parties disagree when it comes to property division, custody, or the divorce itself. It is up to the court to decide what is fair and in accordance with Maryland law in cases like these.
Have Additional Questions about Marital Settlement Agreements in Maryland? The Attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC Are Here to Help!
At Lebovitz Law, LLC, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate marital settlement agreements in Maryland. If you’re seeking any advice related to divorce, you’ll need assistance from a legal expert. No matter what questions you have, the experienced attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can help. We’ll do everything our power to secure an advantageous outcome on your behalf. To schedule a consultation or speak to an attorney, contact us at (410) 657-0179.