3 Tips For A Marital Separation Agreement

When you and your spouse agree to separate, it is important that you create and sign a separation agreement. The agreement can not only help to avoid conflicts while you are separated, but it could potentially serve as the foundation for your final divorce decree. Here are some tips for preparing an agreement. 

Decide on Family Home and Expenses

A big part of the separation agreement will focus on who will take possession of the family home until the divorce is final and who is responsible for paying which bills. Although it might seem tedious, it is important that every single bill you and your spouse share be included in the agreement. If not, one of you could end up entirely responsible for a bill. 

The division of bills is based on what you and your spouse feel will work. For instance, you could agree to a 50-50 split or one spouse could carry a larger share of the responsibility. 

Determine Spousal Support

The terms of spousal support need to be included in the separation agreement. The exact amount and how often it is to be paid should be detailed. In addition to this, how long the support is supposed to last needs to be included. You and your spouse could opt to end the support when a permanent order is in place with the divorce decree or it could end before the divorce is final. 

When determining spousal support, it is also important to include all sources of income in the agreement. Detailing this can help to show what income the spousal support is based upon so that any charges that income was hidden can be dispelled. 

Decide on Child Support and Custody

If you and your spouse share children, you can use your separation agreement to establish temporary custody and support. Remember, the agreement that is created could potentially be used by the court to decide the final order. If one parent is going to have sole legal custody of the children, the rights of the non-custodial parent needs to be clearly outlined. 

The separation agreement is not final and it can be changed before the divorce decree is finalized. The agreement helps both spouses to determine what works and what does not. It also helps to eliminate many of the conflicts that can come up between divorcing couples. Consult with a divorce attorney like the Law Office of Shelli Wright Johnson to ensure that you and your spouse have a solid agreement in place.