Maryland Marital Agreements Lawyer

Getting married will change every part of a person’s life. Even if two people have already been living together before getting marriage, marriage is a legal commitment that can impact the property rights of each party.

Maryland an equitable distribution state, which means that any property a couple acquires during the course of their marriage belongs to both parties equally. It is important to note, however, that equitable does not necessarily mean equal distribution of a couple’s marital property.

This process is notoriously unpredictable, and a final divorce decree may leave both parties unsatisfied. One way to retain control over a potential divorce is to enter into a marital agreement with your spouse.

A Maryland marital agreements lawyer can explain the benefits of spousal contracts and help you protect your property rights in the event of a future divorce. A family law attorney from our firm can help ensure that the terms of your proposed agreements are legally valid and binding on all involved parties.

Equitable Distribution in Maryland

According to Maryland Family Law §8-205, courts have the authority to determine which property is the property of the marriage and to make a distribution or monetary award as required by law.

Marital property is any property that the couple acquires during the course of the marriage. This includes cash, real estate, a stake in a business, and virtually any other asset. However, marital property can also cross the line into assets brought by one party into a marriage. If both spouses use that property during the marriage or exercise some level of control over it, a court may rule that these items fall under the marital property umbrella.

A family court retains great power to dispose of this property pursuant to state law. It is important to remember that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution. The court will take steps to ensure that both parties are on equitable footing going forward after a divorce. A lawyer in Maryland could provide more information about the equitable distribution laws in the state and explain how they apply in an individual’s marital agreements case.

Spousal Agreements as a Tool to Settle the Issue of Alimony

Another common topic that can create animosity between couples is the question of alimony, also known as spousal support. Under MD Family Law §11-101, a court may grant an order of alimony if appropriate pursuant to the evidence at a hearing or trial, or as part of a final decree that grants an annulment or a divorce. Furthermore,  alimony may be awarded to either party regardless of gender depending on the facts and the evidence.

However, alimony is one of the main issues that a marital agreement may discuss. If the parties can come to a mutual agreement that neither will ask for alimony in case of divorce, this agreement will be binding if the marriage does end this way. Naturally, a marital agreement can also lay out the terms for a support order if the parties agree that this is the way to move forward. An attorney in Maryland could help to craft marital agreements that answer questions concerning alimony.

A Maryland Marital Agreements Attorney May be Able to Help

The prospect of a divorce is something that no couple likes to imagine. However, it may benefit all parties to understand what the consequences of that divorce may be and to take steps to retain control over their futures. Entering into a marital agreement can help to provide certainty in case of an unpredictable divorce and can bind both parties to the terms of that agreement.

If the marriage does not end in a divorce, participating in a marital agreement plan can help to provide peace of mind and certainty concerning your future. These contracts can control key matters such as property distribution, the right to control a business, the question of alimony, and retirement rights. Contact a Maryland marital agreements attorney today to discover more about marital agreements and their powerful effects on potential future divorces.