A basic separation agreement is a legal document that is often drafted and signed by couples who have decided to end their marriage or domestic partnership. The agreement outlines the terms of the separation, including division of property and assets, spousal support, child custody, and parenting time.
Before we delve deeper into the basics of a separation agreement, let`s first understand what it is and why it is important. A separation agreement is a contract between two parties, in this case, a couple, that lays out their obligations and responsibilities to each other after they separate. The agreement is usually prepared to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation and provides a clear set of guidelines for both parties to follow.
Now that you know what a separation agreement is, let`s take a closer look at the important components of the document.
Division of Property and Assets
This section deals with the couple`s shared assets and how they will be divided after separation. It includes a list of all assets, such as real estate properties, vehicles, and investment accounts, and outlines how they will be divided between the parties.
If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the separation agreement will include provisions for spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony. The agreement will outline the amount and duration of the spousal support.
Child Custody and Parenting Time
If the couple has children, the separation agreement will outline the terms of child custody and parenting time. It includes details such as which parent the child will live with, visiting rights for the other parent, and how parenting expenses will be split between the parties.
Payment of Debts
If the couple has any shared debts, the separation agreement will outline how these debts will be paid off after separation.
Importance of Legal Assistance
It is important to note that a separation agreement is a legally-binding document and should be prepared with the help of a lawyer. While it is not mandatory to have a lawyer, it is highly recommended, as a lawyer can help ensure that the agreement protects both parties` interests.
In conclusion, a basic separation agreement is a crucial document that provides a clear set of guidelines for a couple`s separation. It includes important components such as the division of property, spousal support, child custody, and parenting time. It is essential to seek legal assistance when drafting the agreement to ensure its legality and to protect both parties` interests.