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lwpat
lwpat, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25386
Experience:  Practicing family law attorney
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My wife and I have a separation agreement signed by both of

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My wife and I have a separation agreement signed by both of us and our lawyers. The agreement states that my wife agrees to move out of the marital home by a certain date in exchanged for certain expenses paid my me and a large lump sum of money. The wife has moved, all monies were paid. The question is does the wife have a right to come into the martial home without my permission. Can I go to court and get some type of court order enforcing the agreement if she does come into the house without my permission. It seems the police will only enforce a court ordered document. We live in the state of Maryland. The home is titled in my name alone but from what I understand that does not matter.

Floridalegalanswer :

Hi there!

Customer:

This question was sent to a lawyer in MD.

I don't think that there is a MD attorney on the board. I can answer your question if you want to continue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had a question answered by a MD attorney a few months back. Yes, please answer. I do need the answer to be specific to MD state laws.

It seems the police will only enforce a court ordered document.

That is correct. What you have at the current time is only a contract agreement that can be only be enforced under the common law of contracts. That means that you are entitled to change the locks on the home and to bar her access since there is a contract giving you sole possession of the home. However, if she enters the home, the police will not get involved.

Can I go to court and get some type of court order enforcing the agreement if she does come into the house without my permission.

You want to go to court and have the agreement incorporated and merged into a court ordered separation. Your attorney can handle filing for a hearing. In the meantime, if she enters, you would be able to sue her for the amount of any damages. Once the order is issued, then she would be in contempt of court if she enters the residence.

However, if she shows up at the house and starts trying to force her way in by physical violence, you can call the police and file charges for criminal domestic violence. The magistrate will then issue a no contact restraining order. However, that is not a good option.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Two clarifications. Does the state of Maryland have a court ordered separation? Is this some type of document where the court acknowledges our separation agreement? Because that would be perfect to show the police in the event she does try and enter the home. Can you confirm? Second, why do you say a restraining order is not a good idea?

MD has what is known as a "limited divorce" which is basically the same as a legal separation. Usually you would not go to that expense once the agreement is signed unless you anticipate problems with the other party.

Second, why do you say a restraining order is not a good idea?

Because that usually just adds fuel to the fire. It is much better if the parties can divorce and still at least speak to one another.
lwpat, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25386
Experience: Practicing family law attorney
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