One of the most painful experiences a person can go through in life is the loss of a spouse through divorce. Strong emotions run wild, and there is usually a lot of pain, anger and helplessness. We can be a big help during this crisis. Not to “punish” your spouse, but to listen objectively, and help you sort through problems and make important decisions. In short, to help you make it through the crisis and see you get back on your feet again.
If reconciliation seems unlikely, you should see your lawyer about having a Separation Agreement drawn. Sometimes this may be necessary even if reconciliation is possible; this will depend on the individual and the circumstances. A Separation Agreement is a contract which spells out the rights and responsibilities of the parties. It contains agreements on, among other things, property division, alimony, child custody, support and visitation. The Separation Agreement is usually the result of negotiations between the parties and their lawyers. The result is a Separation Agreement which is a binding contract between parties, enforceable by the Court.
While Court action is sometimes unavoidable, the best results are usually reached by mutual agreement. Of course, all questions may not be resolved; contested issues will have to be decided in Court. If nothing can be agreed, or if one party won’t sign an Agreement, then all issues have to be decided in Court.
Under Maryland law, either party may ask for alimony. Each party also has the responsibility for the support of minor children. In reaching a decision on alimony and support, the Court will attempt to make an award reasonable, based on all the circumstances of your case. There are also mandatory child support guidelines in effect in Maryland which help determine the amount of child support to be paid.
While each party’s concerns will be addressed, the needs of the children will predominate in the Court’s decisions regarding custody, visitation, and support.
Divorce and separation remain areas of legal complexity. It is a good time to have objective advice from your lawyer. Call us at 301-251-1600, for a confidential consultation.