Going through a separation is never a good experience for both the separating couple and the separated couples no doubt.
However, if there is a need to separate from your husband or wife then you must be ready for it. Having a separation agreement, and knowing the separation processes is what makes you fully ready for a separation.
And if you are wondering how to write a separation agreement, does a separation agreement have to be filed in court? how to get a sample separation agreement or if it is possible to get a separation agreement before divorce, then you are in the right place.
In this post, I will show you all you need to know about marriage separation agreements and I will also show you some powerful separation agreement templates you can use and do-it-yourself separation agreement techniques.
Let’s get started.
What Is A Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement can be described as an agreement written and signed by you and your spouse without involving the court about how to share your properties, money, and other responsibilities will be shared after separation.
You may not need to draw up a marriage or a marital agreement if you don’t have any property to share, children, or joint debts to share.
The best of it all is that agreement has every detail concerning the ending of your marriage, therefore non of you can have reasons to make financial claims against the other in the future.
The purpose of this agreement is to make sure that you or your partner get fair shares of your relationship during the separation without feeling cheated.
Below are other reasons.
Purpose of Marriage Separation Agreement:-
– When you are not yet ready to divorce:- You can opt for this when you are not yet ready to divorce. Perhaps you and your partner wish that you can get back to each other after the separation and so there is no need to get a divorce yet.
– Religious Believes:- Some religion believes that it is not good to divorce. In this case, you and your partner will just plan to take a break from your relationship instead of getting a legal separation.
How To Draft A Marital Agreement:-
Writing a marital agreement needs a lot of carefulness and if you want it to be legal, you must make sure it covers everything that is also covered in a divorce agreement, including real estate, children custody, debts, and marital properties.
The agreement will aid the separation to run smoothly and also give you the room to focus on yourself and your partner, especially when you are both hoping to reconcile.
When you want to write a perfect agreement for your separation, I suggest you put this into consideration.
You must be natural as you negotiate your standpoint. I said this because I am aware of how easy it is to let your emotions get in the way when you are considering what to add to the marital agreement, mostly when you don’t want the separation at all.
Try to be plain and open about what you want or don’t want. For example, tell your partner what you will want or do not want to compromise on.
Everybody needs to understand that from the onset before the separation.
What To Include In Your Separation Agreement:-
As you write your marital agreement, be free to include whatever you want as long as the two of you are comfortable with it. But there are a few things that are a must to be included for you to have a good separation agreement.
There is a need to include child support in your agreement if you have children. This will have the details of your parenting time and ways of taking care of the children during the separation.
You may need to take this to a judge to look at, you are sure the judge will make sure the best child support arrangements are made.
Other things that should be included in the child support arrangements are a specific date to visit the child, and the amount of money to pay for the child’s upkeep.
Also, add the child’s age, and where they go to school. include in the agreement who among you has the primary custody of the child.
Don’t forget to describe how and where they will be during their holidays and their other special days. It’s important to mark their birthday days as well as the father’s days and mother’s days.
Outline The Division Of Personal Properties And Assets:-
Your assets and property are the other important things to be included in your agreement. It includes your cars, boats (if there are any), trucks, and any other type of vehicles you had in your relationship.
List all your real estate too, describing who will get each of them during the separation.
It is also important to list all your general household properties, and try to make descriptions for the big and valuable ones, meanwhile, just use general terms for them and how they are divided without cheating anyone.
Don’t forget to list all your valuable items, both the ones that are still in your home and the ones you have handed down to other relatives.
For unmarried partners, there will not be many challenges in the division of properties.
The reason is that unmarried couples are not recognized by law as married couples and so whatsoever it is that any of you bought during your relationship can not be qualified as assets owned together even though you used it together.
Generally, if it is hard to ascertain whose fund or name was used to buy the properties, it may be shared among you.
Include Spousal Support Arrangements:-
There’s a need for unmarried and married couples to agree on how to support the other partner during separation.
Spousal support or Alimony is all about financially supporting the other spouse when you are not living together, whether it is a permanent separation or trial separation.
The paying spouse should list what he/she should be paying to the other partner and for how long it will be paid. He/she should also attach the spousal calculator or worksheet to the agreement to clarify the calculations.
Check if your state has the calculator and also be aware that a lot of factors like the standard of living, financial resources, how much you have contributed to the marriage, etc, determine if alimony will be paid or not
All marital debts and credits must be included in the separation agreement. Marital debts are debts incurred by the two of you.
In most states, debts such as car loans, mortgages, and credits like credit cards, etc are all the responsibilities of both spouses whether the debt is in one spouse’s name or both.
It is therefore necessary that you write down all the debts in a list and decide how they will be paid, and who pays what.
You should therefore disclose all the debt, credits, and liabilities, or else the separation agreement may be set aside by the court.
Probably one of you has listed the other partner as a beneficiary of an insurance policy or as the next of kin in their pension or other retirement plans
A separation agreement will be used as evidence to release the benefits to the partner should anything happen to the other partner before the divorce.
Finalizing Your Separation Agreement:
When you have finished writing your separation agreement, the next thing to do is to give it to your partner to go through it.
The reason is that your better half may want their attorney to take a look at it too. As you are giving him/her the agreement try to let him know when to return it to avoid procrastination.
If perhaps the attorney found some mistakes, take note of all of them and then correct them and make them in the order of priority.
Then correct the mistakes necessary before you sign it. After signing the agreement, file it with your local court.
In some states, it must be signed by the family court in the country so that it will be enforced.
Expect to pay some fees for filing the agreement. The fee varies according to state, so find out what your state court is doing concerning it.
Is a Separation Agreement Legally Binding?
Separation agreements can be termed legal document if it is drawn up by experienced legal professionals, but the agreement is not legally binding on its own.
It is not a court order, that’s why courts can not be involved in creating it. However, it is a contract, and you can challenge it in court the way it is supposed to challenge a contract.
Agreements can also often be made into a consent order if you want to proceed to divorce at this point, your solicitor will have to properly draft and send it to court and it will become fully legally binding.
Consequences Of Violating A Separation Agreement:-
When you and your partner sign an agreement for separation, both of you are obligated to pay damages to the other spouse when the agreement is breached.
The amount payable as a penalty can be thought of as the difference between the value of what is promised and what was violated.
For example, if what is written on your agreement paper is $1000 and you paid $500, your penalty will be the difference of $500.
Also, couples can specify what to pay the other partner when there is a violation. Mostly, it can be specified in the agreement the amount to pay for any violation, if the amount becomes so high for the violation, it will not be enforced.
In some cases where the damage can not be calculated, the couples may use a court order to make the other partner follow the agreement. This will work better if you filled your separation agreement in court.
Whether you choose trial separation, permanent separation, or legal separation, you must have your separation agreement written. This will keep you safe and confident as you take a break from your relationship.
In this post are something you need to know about marital agreements, like how to write a good agreement and other important things.
Read this post carefully to learn all I ha e written down for you.
Congratulations and see you at the top. I am your in-house counselor, Murphyaik.