Skilled Maryland Family Lawyer Helping Montgomery County Couples with Separation and Prenuptial Agreement Matters
In the state of Maryland, a separation agreement is a contract between spouses who are planning to go their own ways. If you are considering separation or filing for divorce, Silver Spring family lawyer Carol R. Schifter, Esquire can assist you throughout the legal process.
Separation and Grounds for Divorce
Under Maryland state law, separation is the only “no-fault” ground for divorce, meaning that the dissolution of the marriage was not due to the behavior of either spouse. Keep in mind that there are two types of separation in the state of Maryland: (1) “voluntary separation,” and (2) “two years of separation.”
In order to obtain a divorce on the basis of “voluntary separation” for a limited divorce, you must voluntarily live in separate homes, abstain from having sex with one another and possess no reasonable hope of getting back together. Remember, there is no time requirement relevant to your separation when seeking a limited divorce following a voluntary separation.
Separation and Absolute Divorce
In order to obtain an absolute divorce on the grounds of voluntary separation, you must voluntarily live in separate houses and abstain from having sex with one another for 12 consecutive months (i.e. one year). You and your partner must also agree that there is no chance of your reconciling. If you wish to obtain an absolute divorce on the grounds of “two years of separation,” you and your partner must live in separate homes and not have a sexual relationship for 24 consecutive months (i.e. two years) prior to filing for divorce.
Keep in mind that in the state of Maryland, even if one partner has not agreed to the separation and does not want to dissolve the marriage, the other partner may still file for divorce due to having been separated for at least two years.
With the help of an experienced mediator and/or family law attorney, Maryland couples may employ separation agreements in order to agree upon issues regarding child custody, child support, alimony and the division of property. Once this agreement has been notarized, it officially becomes a “separation agreement.” A separation agreement provides a binding contract without the assistance of a Maryland judge. It also demonstrates proof that both partners are in agreement regarding its terms.
In the state of Maryland, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that both you and your children are able to maintain a secure manner of life in the event that your marriage fails. Silver Spring family law attorney Carol R. Schifter, Esquire has more than 30 years’ experience helping Montgomery County families create prenuptial agreements. This legal document ensures that your rights and those of your children will be protected regardless of what the future may hold.
Advantages to creating a prenuptial agreement include:
- Protecting your financial stability: A prenuptial agreement can protect your future financial stability, ensuring that you are able to maintain economic self-sufficiency should you and your partner separate.
- Protection of your child’s financial stability: A prenuptial agreement can also be a way to care for and protect the future of your children. A prenuptial agreement allows you to determine the assets that your children will receive in the event that you or your partner file for divorce.
- Redefining the automatic spousal right to inherit: A prenuptial agreement can be used to define what, if anything, each spouse will inherit from the other in lieu of the automatic right to inheritance that applied during marriage.
- Conflict reduction: If separation does occur, having already drafted a prenuptial agreement will simplify the separation process.