In Maryland, there is no legal status known as a “legal separation.” Couples are either married or divorced. However, when couples decide to live apart in anticipation of divorce, they may decide to execute what is known as a separation agreement, property settlement agreement, or marital settlement agreement. These terms refer to the same thing: an enforceable, legally binding contract between spouses regarding such matters as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, health and life insurance, division of property, and more.
Separation agreements in Maryland may be oral or written, but in order to be enforceable, they should be written, signed, and notarized. If you and your spouse are able to resolve all your issues in the separation agreement, it can make the process of divorce less contentious, and may decrease the overall costs. When you divorce, the separation agreement can be incorporated into your divorce decree. If you decide not to divorce, your separation agreement can remain in effect as a contract. If you reconcile before divorce, you and your spouse can revoke the separation agreement by mutual consent.
You and your spouse know your circumstances and goals better than anyone. The Law Office of Shelly M. Ingram can help you craft a separation agreement that is customized for your family’s unique needs. We are skilled in negotiation, mediation, and collaborative practice. If it is possible for you to reach an agreement, we can help you arrive at an agreement in whatever way works best for you.
If you are interested in negotiating a separation agreement with your spouse, the Law Office of Shelly M. Ingram offers the legal skill and experience necessary to help reach a resolution that works for your family. Call us at (301) 658-7354 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation at our Fulton, MD family law office, just south of Columbia. We look forward to working with you.
To learn more, we invite you to explore our Frequently Asked Questions about Maryland separation agreements.