Managing an end to a long-term relationship or marriage is difficult for everyone involved. It’s even more complicated if you have children. It’s important that the two parties are on the same page about visitation, custody and other issues. It’s equally important that the couple handles finances and property in a way that is fair to both parties.
A separation agreement can provide a framework for how to do that. It allows a couple to decide issues like whether or not to keep the home, how to divide assets and debt and even things like whether one party will pay alimony or child support. The best part is that a separation agreement can help prevent future conflict by providing a written record of what the parties agreed to during the process.
If a divorce is filed, the terms of the agreement will likely become part of the final divorce decree. If the agreement covers child custody or alimony, the court may review it to ensure that it is fair. However, the court typically approves a separation agreement as long as there is proper disclosure of all assets and debt.
There are many different ways to draft a separation agreement, and the details will vary depending on the couple’s circumstances. The courts have a standard court form that will cover most of the topics, but it’s not necessarily appropriate for all situations. It’s also not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed family law attorney who can provide more detailed guidance on how to create an effective agreement. separation agreement process