Separation agreements can alleviate big headaches

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Prenuptial Agreements on Friday, October 10, 2014.

People in Maryland may have noticed that more and more couples are entering into prenuptial agreements prior to tying the knot. While in previous generations such a contract might have been considered unseemly or unusual, couples today know have learned their lesson from the messy, litigation-heavy divorces of their parent's generation and have embraced the prenuptial agreement, or "prenup," as an essential step in the marriage process.

Couples who didn't sign a prenup in their marriage may have more property division concerns if they divorce, but there are still plenty of legal steps a spouse can take to protect themselves and their assets prior to a divorce. In particular they may want to enter into a post-nuptial contract, which is essentially the same thing as a prenup, but the main difference is the timing. As the name indicates, a post-nuptial contract takes place after the couple has married.

One of the most common types of post-nuptial agreements is the separation agreement, which some couples enter into in anticipation of or in response to their marital separation. These are ideal for couples who may not be fully committed to the idea of a divorce, but don't want to live together for at least some period of time. Obviously, this new living arrangement may change a lot for both spouses, and questions and disputes are sure to arise.

Rather than argue over rent, car payments, expenses and other expectations and obligations, these separated couples may want to enter into a separation agreement, which spells out such issues in explicit terms. If the separation is just a step in the direction of divorce, the terms of the separation agreement may even serve as the foundation of the divorce settlement. An experienced Maryland family law attorney can help spouses reach a settlement agreement that might save them time, money and serious headaches. Our firm's prenuptial agreement webpage may be informative for those who want to learn more about prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements. We believe that every case is unique and we work with clients to help them reach their goals.