When separating from your spouse fighting in Court is an expensive proposition for both parties, it is much faster and easier to agree than to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers and court costs.
Separation Agreements also have the advantage of certainty. You know the end result, right now. After months or years of fighting, at Trial a Judge imposes a decision on both parties, and often neither party is happy with it.
Separation Agreements can specify Child Custody, Access, Child Support, Children’s expenses, Spousal Support (or lack thereof), and division of Family Property. It should be road map of where things are going in the future.
I always tell clients to make sure their spouse will sign before preparing a Separation Agreement. There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours preparing an agreement that the other spouse won’t sign.
Once the agreement is prepared and both spouses agree to sign it, the other spouse will have to get independant legal advice from a different law firm before they sign. That’s why separation agreements are so hard to overturn. Both parties had a lawyer tell you what you were signing before you signed it.
When applying for a Final Divorce, the Judge will want to read the Separation Agreement to make sure everything has been settled.
If you have any questions about Separation Agreements, give me a call.
David R. Barth