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Separation Agreement


A separation agreement is a legal contract between spouses who are separating. It outlines how they will handle their affairs during the separation period, including:

  • Division of property and debts: This covers things like the marital home, cars, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and any other assets and liabilities.

  • Child custody and visitation (if applicable): The agreement will specify who the children will live with primarily, how often the other parent will see them, and how decisions about the children will be made.

  • Child support (if applicable): The agreement will outline how much child support one parent will pay to the other for the children's expenses.

  • Spousal support (alimony):  This is financial support paid from one spouse to the other after separation. The agreement will specify the amount of spousal support, the duration of payments, and under what conditions they may terminate.

Benefits of a separation agreement:

  • Clarity and certainty:  A written agreement avoids confusion and potential future disagreements about important financial and child-related issues.

  • Control over the process: Spouses can negotiate their own terms, rather than leaving decisions to a judge.

  • Reduced court costs and time: If the couple already has a separation agreement, the divorce process can be faster and less expensive.

Things to consider:

  • Legal advice:  It is always best to consult with an attorney to ensure the agreement is fair and enforceable in your state.

  • Full disclosure: Both spouses should fully disclose all assets and debts.

  • Future changes:  Consider how the agreement can be modified if circumstances change in the future.

Separation agreements vs. legal separation:

  • A separation agreement is a contract, while a legal separation is a court order.

  • A separation agreement may or may not be a step towards divorce, while a legal separation is a formal step in the divorce process.

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