When a Maryland couple is contemplating divorce, they often begin with a separation. While this may or may not lead to divorce, the steps taken during separation can have a profound effect on one if it comes to that. Thus, it is very important to have a Maryland divorce lawyer when a separation agreement is put into place. If a separation agreement is signed by two parties and one later files for divorce, the signed agreement is considered by a judge when making important decisions in the case. One of the most significant aspects about the separation agreement is that it sets a precedent for the individual case. If something has already been agreed to by both parties, it is unlikely to change when the separation becomes a divorce; this typically applies to things such as the division of marital assets, child custody and who lives where.
The misconception that a separation agreement can be easily changed or remedied if divorce becomes a reality instead of a possibility can greatly impact a divorce settlement. While it seems easier to be agreeable and simply let the other party have their way by signing an agreement while reconciliation is still possible, it often turns out that it cannot be undone. In fact, the ground rules are seldom revamped unless there is a significant change in circumstances. Consulting with a Maryland separation and divorce lawyer before signing anything will, at the very least, help the client understand how separation agreements and divorce settlements work in the State of Maryland.
In many cases, a divorce case with a signed separation agreement is viewed as an uncontested divorce. While a separation agreement helps the divorce process move along more smoothly and quickly, it is usually considered a legally binding document. As with all legal documents, separation agreements should be read over slowly and carefully before they are signed. If any questions arise, a lawyer should be consulted before making any commitments.