Maryland law anticipates the ability of prospective spouses to enter into antenuptial agreements and recognizes those agreements and separation agreements as potentially effective waivers of the rights of a spouse in an estate. Md. Code Ann., Est & Trusts § 3-205. This raises a jurisdictional issue of whether the Maryland Orphans’ Court, a court of limited jurisdiction, is entitled to construe antenuptial agreements and/or separation agreements. In Kaouris v. Kaouris, 324 Md. 687, 598 A.2d 1193 (1991), the Court of Appeals held that the scope of the jurisdiction of the Orphans’ Court in construing a document hinges on the purpose for which the Orphans’ Court is construing that document. Kaouris involved a separation agreement that was prepared by the parties in anticipation of a separation and divorce but where those parties ultimately reconciled. The Court of Appeals held that when an interpretation is incidental to the fulfillment of the Orphans’ Court jurisdiction the Orphans’ Court may construe a marital settlement agreement for the purpose of deciding whether the agreement is valid or void. The Orphans’ Court has this power because it is sometimes necessary to determine the validity of the agreement in order to determine who takes under the will. In this case, the Orphans’ Court concluded that despite the existence of the separation agreement, the provisions of the agreement were interrelated and that the agreement was void because the parties did not separate as the agreement had contemplated. - See more at: