The Benefits of Separation Agreements
A separation agreement allows spouses to work out important details about their marriage’s end, without the involvement of the court. Its terms usually establish the date of separation, divide assets and debt, determine who lives in the marital home, set schedules for child custody and visitation, and determine spousal support. It may also include provisions for add-ons like health insurance, education and daycare for children.
A separate agreement is often more cost-effective than a divorce, as it saves both parties the expense of hiring an attorney and paying for court costs. It’s often less stressful, and it provides a sense of closure to the marriage.
For couples who aren’t ready to divorce, a separation can provide them with time to reconsider whether the marriage is over and whether ending it is really what they want to do. It can also help them avoid a full divorce, which isn’t always the right choice for everyone.
If you and your spouse prepare a separation agreement, it’s wise to have both of you consult with an attorney before signing it. Without legal advice, a judge will likely view the agreement with suspicion, and it might not be enforceable. This could be because it contains promises that are not supported by law or were made by fraud. For example, it’s against the law to conceal important information from your spouse during a separation, which would be grounds for a fraud claim later on. separation agreements