When a married couple decides to end their marriage, it’s often best for them to create a separation agreement. This document sets out the terms for their living arrangement and division of assets and debts. It can also help to clarify their future intentions. For example, the document can include a provision specifying that any assets or debts acquired during separation will be excluded from the property settlement in their eventual divorce. This helps prevent disputes and confusion about what happens to investments, stock and savings accounts, vehicles, real estate and other valuables.
A separation agreement may also contain a clause that addresses child custody and support, with both parties agreeing to prioritize their children’s well-being. The document may set out visitation schedules, holiday arrangements and decision-making responsibilities. It may also set out the amount and duration of spousal or “maintenance” payments. It might include a clause explaining how tax-related matters will be handled during the period of separation and who is responsible for filing taxes. It might also include a provision on dispute resolution, outlining how any conflicts or disagreements will be resolved.
Many clients who work with Darren Shapiro find that a carefully-drafted separation agreement makes the process of divorce much simpler in the long run. A separation agreement can clear up a lot of the issues that would otherwise be contested in court, and may reduce the number of reasons a judge might give for rejecting a divorce request. separation agreement process