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Separation Agreements

A separation agreement can make the divorce process go more smoothly and have an outcome that is acceptable to both parties. It is a contract between husband and wife that is entered into when they are granted a legal separation or upon beginning a “trial separation” without the involvement of the courts. This contract outlines how certain things will be handled in the event of a divorce including:

  • Child custody
  • Visitation
  • Child support
  • Religious practices involving children
  • Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Property
  • Assets
  • Debt
  • Spousal support
  • Pet custody

A separation agreement will constitute an uncontested divorce. If you enter into divorce proceedings, you will file the separation agreement along with the request for dissolution of marriage. After being reviewed by the court for fairness and validity, this contract will be used rather than the state laws which would normally determine division of property, and financial issues.

If the separation agreement includes a child custody and child support agreement the court will usually honor it, but may modify that portion if it feels that it would be in the best interest of the child or children to make changes.

A thoroughly thought out and well written separation agreement can save time, money and heartache during divorce proceedings. To ensure that you have covered all necessary areas, you should consult with an attorney in preparing the contract.

If the agreement is made for the purpose of a trial separation, it can take some of the uncertainty out of the marriage. With the practical concerns of what will happen in the event of a divorce, couples can focus on their relationship and emotional issues, and make decisions about their marriage with a clear mind and heart.

Drafting a separation agreement can be a painful and difficult process and should be addressed with patience, cooperation, and an open mind, if at all possible.

If you are considering separation or divorce, please contact a matrimonial law attorney today.

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