Generate A Separation Agreement with LegalZone

Generate A Separation Agreement with LegalZone

What Is a Separation Agreement?

Also known as separation papers, a marriage separation agreement, a divorce agreement, a marital settlement agreement, or legal separation papers, a separation agreement is a document that defines how a couple terminating their marriage will split their assets or responsibilities.

The terms involve the designation of child custody and support, parental responsibilities, and other financial or familial assets that the couple wishes to divide.


When Should I Use a Separation Agreement?

Separation agreements are typically used in three scenarios:

  1. A married couple has decided to legally separate, but they’re not ready to move forward with a divorce. The separation agreement is used to document when the individuals began to live apart and how they are dividing their responsibilities while separated.
  2. A married couple has decided to get divorced, and they already know how they wish to allocate property and responsibilities. In this instance, the couple can submit the separation agreement before the divorce proceedings or to the judge for approval. The separation agreement becomes a part of the divorce decree.
  3. A married couple has decided that they would prefer to permanently live separately but want to retain their legal status of “married.”

If you and your spouse are in one of these three scenarios, you should use a separation agreement.


What Is the Difference Between Separation and Divorce?

Separation is the limbo between marriage and divorce. A couple is separated when they no longer engage in a marital relationship or live together but are still legally married. Divorce confirms the separation by dissolving the legal marriage.

A couple can get separated and choose not to get divorced and either stay married in name or move back in together later. Or a couple who separates can move forward with the divorce proceedings in their own time. However, once a couple receives their divorce decree, they would have to get married again to re-enter a legal relationship.


What Happens If We Don’t Use a Separation Agreement?

Without a separation agreement, a spouse may still be responsible for their partner’s financial debts incurred while married. Not using a separation agreement can also make the divorce proceedings more complicated and heated.

The document exists to help couples transition out of marriage or establish responsibilities for the time they live apart.


What Should Be Included in a Simple Separation Agreement?

A simple separation agreement should include:

  • Who has primary custody of the children and gets the “child tax credit”
  • Who gets to stay in the marital home and pay the mortgage and property taxes
  • What property and debts will be divided between the couple
  • Where a future divorce will take place if specified by state laws
  • When the couple was married
  • When the couple began their separation
  • Why the couple has decided to live apart
  • Whether the separation agreement will continue in effect after the divorce has been finalized
  • How a spouse, child, or pet may be supported during separation
  • Real estate, pension, child custody, or tax issues as discussed with an attorney or accountant


Create a Separation Agreement with LegalZone

If you’re looking into drafting a separation agreement, our attorneys at LegalZone are prepared to help you cover all your bases and include all of the necessary information. We make it easy and affordable to get the documentation you need, no matter what part of the proceedings you’re at.

If you have questions about whether a separation agreement is right for you, reach out to one of LegalZone’s customer support specialist.

If you’re ready to begin your document, click here.