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Maryland Separation Agreements
When possible, it is beneficial for the parties in a divorce to come to a fair agreement resolving issues of support, property, custody, visitation, and use of the home. Although the parties may reach binding agreements concerning their own rights, the court always retains the authority to protect the interests of minor children and typically will independently re-examine the adequacy of child support if the parties depart from the Maryland's statutory Child Support Guidelines.
The parties have an obligation to each other of fair dealing and disclosure in negotiating an agreement. They should each have independent legal advice, and if they arrive at a separation agreement without such advice available to both parties, a court may consider the failure to obtain separate counsel as evidence of unfairness if the agreement is later attacked.
Alimony is awarded on a case-by-case basis in Maryland. The court decides the amount and duration of spousal support, based on what it considers a fair and equitable award for both parties.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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