What Is a Separation Agreement?

Ending a relationship can be overwhelming, especially when you’re confronted with unfamiliar legal terminology. Familiarizing yourself with some of the more common terms can help you feel more comfortable as your case proceeds.

When you decide to divorce or separate, a “separation agreement” is the contract in which you and your partner resolve all of the issues in your case. Depending on the specific issues in your case, your separation agreement may include provisions for:

  • Property division
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody and access
  • Who will stay in the home or if it will be sold
  • How debts will be divided

It’s important to remember that this document is legally binding and will affect nearly every aspect of your life, from your children to your assets. It’s critical to understand how your agreement impacts your life immediately and over the long term.

The Benefits of a Separation Agreement

When the couple can’t agree, they must rely on the court to determine the issues in their case – an option that can be both costly and time-consuming. Although you aren’t required to have a separation agreement, it could end up costing you time and money down the road if you forego one. Without a separation agreement, it can be extremely difficult to prove that your spouse agreed to a specific arrangement. Ultimately, you may end up in court to settle a dispute. A separation agreement offers numerous benefits over a court proceeding, including greater flexibility and the ability to tailor the agreement specifically to the couple’s needs.