If a couple decides to separate before the divorce, they may choose to enter into a conjugation agreement, also known as a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a legally binding contract between spouses, which clearly defines the rights and obligations of each spouse with respect to subsistence, custody, child custody and division of property. It can also deal with issues such as business interest, debt/expenses, and income tax. Like many states, Maryland prefers that divorcing couples need time to make a voluntary agreement about what will happen next with custody and commons. It is important to understand that the State of Maryland always reserves the right to amend agreements if it deems them inappropriate. For example, if the court finds that the agreement reached by the parents is not in the best interests of their common children, they may make a different decision despite your agreement with your spouse. If only one party is represented by a lawyer, the party who is not represented by a lawyer must seek the advice of a lawyer before the agreement is concluded. There are cases where provisions of an agreement or of the entire agreement may be questionable or unenforceable. While the parties can establish a separation agreement without the help of lawyers, it is often risky to do so. Without knowledge of their legal rights, the parties may draw up an agreement that may create problems in the future or not address all the problems between them. What forms do I need to submit? If you wish to initiate or open a divorce case, use the complaint for absolute divorce (CC-DR-020) or for limited divorce (CC-DR-021). If you wish to respond to a divorce case opened by your spouse, use the answer (CC-DR-050) and, if applicable, a counter-action for absolute divorce (CC-DR-094) or limited divorce (CC-DR-111). You may also need to file a Civil Information Report (CC-DCM-001), financial forms, a joint declaration of the parties on conjugal and non-conjugal property (CC-DR-033), a transaction agreement and tax exemption forms.
Watch a video about divorce forms. If your spouse has asked you to sign a separation agreement, an experienced lawyer with Jacobson Family Law can help you by reviewing the separation agreement, explaining the legal implications, and negotiating the issues that are most important to you. It is important that you do not sign a document before first consulting the professional legal advice of a divorce lawyer. . . .