A legal agreement to separate is a written contract between both spouses. Upon completion, the legal separation allows spouses to live apart in contemplation of a divorce. The agreement allows spouses to divide assets, property, debt, child custody and support, visitation, alimony, and tax issues while still receiving the legal and tax benefits of being married.
Settlement agreements can be in place for a period of up to one year. During the year, the spouses have the ability to continue to work on or repair their marriage while having independence without the divorce looming overhead. A separation agreement will help provide a way to govern the relationship during future uncertainty. If the spouses reconcile, they are free to resume living together at any time within the year and continue with the marriage.
- A Separation Agreement determines:
- Marital assets that may need divided
- Property held between the couple
- All debt that may need to be divided
- Who will pay for what expenses during the separation
- Who will have primary custody of the children and visitation rights of parents
- Calculation for child support obligations
- Any alimony (voluntary or necessary)
- Tax and insurance changes