Many Marylanders want to know whether a Premarital or Domestic Partnership Agreement is right for them. These agreements can serve a variety of purposes depending on individual facts and circumstance.
They can be grouped into several categories, frequently encountered by family law attorneys. The following list is by no means exhaustive.
“ Although Maryland has not adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, the courts have generally upheld such agreements.
For more mature couples who have acquired both assets and children prior to their new relationship, the purpose is often to protect assets for the children of prior relationships, while making appropriate provisions for the new spouse.
For couples with substantially different levels of financial resources, the goal may be shielding the financially stronger partner from claims for marital support in the event of breakup.
Younger couples, often already living together, may view marriage as the next logical step but want to minimize the cost and emotional turmoil of divorce should it occur.
Partners who may or may not be legally capable of marriage in this state, desire to establish the ground rules for their partnership.
Although Maryland, unlike Virginia and D.C., has not adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, the courts have generally upheld such agreements. However they will not be permitted to tie the hands of the court with respect to issues relating to children, such as support, custody or visitation. There is also precedence that curtails waivers of alimony under circumstances in which denial of spousal support would be unconscionable.
Nevertheless, with appropriate legal counseling, couples can confidently use these agreements to meet most of their legitimate goals. You can expect future posts on this site to explore relevant issues in more detail.