All About Marital Separation Agreements

By Staff Writer

Separation agreements are written contracts that set forth all of the terms of your settlement with your estranged spouse. It should address and resolve all of the relevant issues, from custody and child support to a division of your assets and debts. In some states, marital separation agreements that have been properly drafted and substantially complied with, will give either party grounds for divorce after the applicable waiting period and other requirements have been complied with. In states that require grounds for divorce, this can benefit parties who desire a divorce but who lack other grounds.

Separation agreements must be negotiated. This usually involves going back and forth with your spouse on the various issues until a total agreement on all of the issues has been reached. They can be negotiated in this manner in any way that makes you most comfortable. Some parties are able to negotiate the terms of the agreement directly with their spouse while others prefer the assistance of an attorney or mediator.

Marital separation agreements must be drafted after all of the terms have been negotiated. At this step of the process, you should obtain the services of an experienced attorney. If agreements are not properly drafted, they can be invalidated by a Court. You should also engage in settlement negotiations in good faith and with full disclosure. Your spouse may be able to get out of the agreement if he can show that you engaged in wrongdoing during negotiations such as fraud or duress.