Why Separation Agreements Are Important in Divorce

A separation agreement is an important contract between spouses that contains specific terms for how the parties will manage their finances and assets during a legal separation. These agreements usually specify who will live in the marital home, how expenses will be split and how any accumulated debts will be settled. They also set out how time spent with children and how spousal support will be determined. Separation agreements provide a degree of flexibility that is not always available in the courts and often allow couples to avoid court altogether.

Because these documents are contracts, they can be amended later on as circumstances change. For example, if a couple decides to reconcile and then get divorced, the terms of their separation agreement can be incorporated into the final divorce decree. For that reason, it’s best to work with a lawyer to draft these agreements.

While there are some limits to what can be agreed upon, a separation agreement allows couples to customize their own terms for dividing up their assets, determine how they’ll handle their money and even determine if the person staying in the house should keep their name on the mortgage or take up the other partner’s name. It can also make it easier to transfer these terms into the final divorce documents, which can help cases settle faster and require lower attorney fees.

It’s also important to note that separation agreements aren’t binding on the court. In most instances, the only times that a judge will intervene are when the decision revolves around children. This can include changing custody or visitation agreements, or modifying the amount of spousal or child support. separation agreements