It goes without saying that one of the most important factors in deciding whether you should reach an agreement are the terms of the agreement and whether at the very least those terms are fair and reasonable to you, if not outright advantageous to you. In my opinion, there are times that reaching a separation agreement may not be advisable. For example, in cases where there is a great deal of animosity between the parties a separation agreement may be the equivalent of punting the ball only to resume the animosity and court proceedings at a later date; however, if you have made substantial concessions to reach an agreement you could not go back and re-litigate those issues. Once you reach an agreement, in most cases you are bound to those terms and you cannot change them. So you should make sure that the terms of your separation agreement include terms that you can live with.. This is an extremely personal issue that differs from person to person and one size does not fit all. Therefore, you should not agree to terms that cross your “redlines,” or include terms that are highly questionable to you. You do not want to be in a situation where you have settled on terms, reached an agreement, but feel like you reached an agreement without having sufficient information because in all likelihood you will not be able to go back and re-address the issues that have been settled. There are however certain situations in which a separation agreement can be set aside by court due to duress or due to unconscionably unfair terms that were reached without having the opportunity to have advice of counsel), however, those cases are rare.
There are other potential benefits to reaching a separation and property settlement agreement in Maryland that I will not belabor here. But keep in mind that going to court, testifying, and even going through a discovery process and producing information and documents and/or being deposed makes most people stressed and uncomfortable. A timely reached separation agreement could save you the headaches of gathering and producing substantial number of documents, answering questions, and making court appearances.
This article is a Part of series of articles by Kamkari Law regarding Separation Agreements in Divorce Cases in Maryland. For additional information and to have full context please read my additional articles on this subject.
Author: Shane Kamkari, Esq. is an experienced divorce attorney whose offices are based in Bethesda, Montgomery County Maryland. Shane has handled and litigated hundreds of divorce cases in courts of many counties in Maryland since 1998. The areas in which Kamkari Law practices are Montgomery County, Frederick County, Howard County, and Prince George’s County.