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OTHER NAMES Separation Agreement Marital Settlement Agreement Marital Separation Agreement Legal Separation Agreement

What is a Separation Agreement?

Some couples choose not to divorce or choose to separate for a time before they petition for a divorce or dissolution of marriage. A Marriage Separation Agreement outlines how assets, debts and children will be managed during the separation.

When to use a Separation Agreement:

  • You and your spouse have decided to separate and agree on how to divide your property and assets.
  • You and your spouse are considering a divorce and would like to legally separate prior to a final decision on ending your marriage.
  • You are contemplating a legal separation and would like to set preliminary terms for a division of property.
  • You plan to meet with an attorney regarding a legal separation and would like to be prepared with an outline for the division of property and assets.

Sample Separation Agreement

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of , , , born , and of , , , born , being sworn do hereby state the following statements are true and correct and that except as otherwise specifically stated in this Agreement, this Agreement serves as a full and final settlement of all matters of joint concern for the parties, including The parties agree this Agreement contains a fair, just and equitable division of property and debts and is satisfactory to both parties.

 

  JURISDICTION.

 

  ARMED FORCES.

 

  MARRIAGE DATE. The parties were married to each other on in , child was children were

 

.

 

  SEPARATION DATE.

 

  CAUSE OF DISSOLUTION.

 

  DISCLOSURE. The parties acknowledge that each has made a full disclosure of all assets and debts owned jointly or individually. Whether community or separate property, nothing has been withheld and each party believes the other has been truthful in their disclosure.

 

  INCOME.

 

 

The parties acknowledge that issues of child custody and visitation regarding the parties' minor child have been determined by the of in the state of under docket/case number . That court maintains continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over issues relating to the minor child of this marriage. A copy of all orders entered relative to custody and visitation are attached to this agreement and shall be incorporated into any Judgment or Decree of subsequently entered. Legal Custody. Legal custody for the purpose of this agreement refers to the authority to make major decisions regarding minor child of the marriage, which can include but is not limited to health care, religion, and education.  Physical Custody. Physical custody for the purpose of this agreement refers to the authority to make routine and day-to-day decisions regarding the child and where the child's primary residence will be.

  Parenting Time/Visitation. The non-custodial parent will have visitation with the children as follows:

delivered to school or daycare the following morning.

The parents believe they can work together to establish a holiday visitation schedule.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Birthday visitation will be handled as follows:

 

shall be responsible for all costs of transportation to exercise visitation. The parties agree to allow one another the first opportunity to have the children if he or she is unable to care for the children during their scheduled time. The parties agree to work together to make decisions regarding childcare providers. The parties agree will be responsible for paying the health insurance for the minor child so long as it is available at no or nominal cost through their employment. The parties agree shall be responsible for any non-covered or co-pay expenses related to medical, dental, optometric, orthodontic, physical therapy, psychiatric or pharmaceutical needs of the minor children. sThe parties acknowledge issues of child support regarding the parties' minor childUnder this court order is responsible for paying child support in the amount of . That court maintains continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over issues relating to the minor child of this marriage. A copy of all orders entered relative to child support are attached to this agreement and shall be incorporated into any Judgment or Decree of subsequently entered.

  COOPERATION AGREEMENT. The parties agree to cooperate with one another in signing any papers or legal documents needed to finalize this agreement or any provision contained in this agreement, including deeds, title certificates, etc. Within 10 days of notification of Entry of Judgment, the parties shall execute any document, transfer papers, titles or other documents to effect the provisions of this Agreement and any resulting Decree of . In the event a party fails to sign transfer documents, the final Decree of shall operate to transfer title.

 

  DIVISION OF ASSETS. Each party shall receive any and all, tangible and intangible, property in his/her possession unless stated otherwise in this agreement.

 

The parties agree will remain in the home located at , , and have sole rights to occupy the home during the . will be solely responsible for all expenses associated with the marital home including but not limited to; mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, upkeep, remodeling, and landscaping during this period of separation. will to refinance the home into his or her separate name. If the party retaining the marital home is unable or fails to refinance the home in the allotted time, the other party can request the Court to require the sale of the property. will will have have do not have

  DEBTS. Each spouse will be responsible for any indebtedness incurred in his or her individual name prior to the date of marriage unless otherwise specifically stated in this agreement. Each spouse will be responsible for any indebtedness incurred in his or her individual name subsequent to the date of separation, unless otherwise specifically stated in this agreement. Each spouse will be responsible for any indebtedness incurred in his or her individual name during the course of the marriage unless otherwise specifically stated in this agreement.

 

  SPOUSAL SUPPORT/ALIMONY.

 

yearyears yearyears
The parties agree will continue to provide health and medical benefits, including dental, for their spouse after the legal separation is granted until such time as a divorce is final. will have the authority to change his or her name to should he or she desire.

  TAXES.

 

  FUTURE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT. The parties agree that if any dispute, question, disagreement, or change occurs affecting the terms of this Agreement, they will work together to negotiate with each other in good faith, in consideration of their mutual interest, with the purpose of reaching a solution, which is beneficial for the parties. In the event negotiations fail, the parties agree to first seek mediation, through a qualified mediator selected jointly by the parties. Either party may terminate mediation at any time. In the event the dispute is not resolved, either party may motion the Court governing this Agreement and the resulting Decree of or judgment for a decision regarding the disputed matter.

 

  FULL DISCLOSURE OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES. The parties hereby represent that they have each made full disclosure to the other party of their individual assets. Each represents that he or she has provided the other with a current financial statement in the proper form pursuant to Rule 401 of the Supplemental Probate Court Rules, which discloses fully and completely all of his or her income, assets, expenses and liabilities. By executing this Agreement, the parties represent that the terms and provisions of this Agreement are fair, just and reasonable and are not the product of fraud, coercion or undue influence and that each signs this Agreement freely and voluntarily.

 

  SUBMISSION OF AGREEMENT TO COURT. The parties each agree that this Separation Agreement shall be submitted to the Court for a judge's approval of the terms and entry of Judgment of .

 

We request the Court order a and a final disposition regarding all matters contained in this agreement. In addition, should the parties decide to proceed with a Petition for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage, the parties ask that this agreement be recognized and incorporated into any final decree issued in that regard.

 

We agree and declare that we have entered into this agreement freely and voluntarily. We believe that this agreement contains a fair and reasonable division of all of the issues related to our marriage. We ask the Court approve this agreement and incorporate all of the terms and conditions into a Final Order and Decree of .

 

By executing this Agreement I swear that to my knowledge the information contained herein is a full and complete disclosure and it is my intention that this Agreement is a full and final division of the property and debts involved in this marriage and that I am satisfied with the agreement contained herein.

 

Dated: __________________ ____________________________________________

, ,

 

STATE OF ss:COUNTY OF , ss:PARISH OF , ss:

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me, ______________________________, the undersigned officer, personally appeared , known to me (or proved to me on the oath of ______________________________) to be the person who is described in and who executed the within and foregoing instrument, and acknowledged to me that they executed the same.

Before me, a Notary Public (or justice of the peace) in and for said county, personally appeared the above named , who acknowledged that he/she did sign the foregoing instrument, and that the same is his/her free act and deed. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name at ________________________________, this _____ day of ____________________, _____.

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of ____________________, _____, by .

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me, by means of ☐ physical presence or ☐ online notarization, this _____ day of ____________________, ______ by , who is personally known to me or who has produced ________________________________ as identification.

This instrument was acknowledged before me on this _____ day of ____________________, _____ by .

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me personally appeared , to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that he/she executed same as his/her free act and deed.

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me, ________________________________, personally appeared , known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged that he/she executed the same as for the purposes therein contained.

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me, the undersigned, Notary Public for the State of Vermont, personally appeared , to me known (or to me proved) to be the identical person named in and who executed the above Premarital Agreement, and acknowledged that such persons executed it as such persons' voluntary act and deed.

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of ____________________, _____, by .

 

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and official seal.

Notary Public

Signature of person taking acknowledgment

 

_________________________________

Name typed, printed, or stamped

Title (and Rank)

 

_________________________________

Title or rank

 

My commission expires _____________

 

_________________________________

Serial number (if applicable)

Serial number, if any

 

Notary Address:

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

By executing this Agreement I swear that to my knowledge the information contained herein is a full and complete disclosure and it is my intention that this Agreement is a full and final division of the property and debts involved in this marriage and that I am satisfied with the agreement contained herein.

 

Dated: __________________ ____________________________________________

, ,

 

STATE OF ss:COUNTY OF , ss:PARISH OF , ss:

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me, ______________________________, the undersigned officer, personally appeared , known to me (or proved to me on the oath of ______________________________) to be the person who is described in and who executed the within and foregoing instrument, and acknowledged to me that he/she executed the same.

Before me, a Notary Public (or justice of the peace) in and for said county, personally appeared the above named , who acknowledged that he/she did sign the foregoing instrument, and that the same is his/her free act and deed. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name at ________________________________, this _____ day of ____________________, _____.

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of ____________________, _____, by .

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me, by means of ☐ physical presence or ☐ online notarization, this _____ day of ____________________, ______ by , who is personally known to me or who has produced ________________________________ as identification.

This instrument was acknowledged before me on this _____ day of ____________________, _____ by .

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me personally appeared , to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that he/she executed same as his/her free act and deed.

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me, ________________________________, personally appeared , known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged that he/she executed the same as for the purposes therein contained.

On this _____ day of ____________________, _____, before me, the undersigned, Notary Public for the State of Vermont, personally appeared , to me known (or to me proved) to be the identical person named in and who executed the above Premarital Agreement, and acknowledged that such persons executed it as such persons' voluntary act and deed.

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of ____________________, _____, by .

 

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and official seal.

Notary Public

Signature of person taking acknowledgment

 

_________________________________

Name typed, printed, or stamped

Title (and Rank)

 

_________________________________

Title or rank

 

My commission expires _____________

 

_________________________________

Serial number (if applicable)

Serial number, if any

 

Notary Address:

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

The parties acknowledge that issues of child custody and visitation regarding the parties' minor child have been determined by the of in the state of under docket/case number . That court maintains continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over issues relating to the minor child of this marriage. A copy of all orders entered relative to custody, support or visitation are attached to this agreement and shall be incorporated into any Judgment or Decree of Divorce subsequently entered. Legal Custody. Legal custody for the purpose of this agreement refers to the authority to make major decisions regarding minor child of the marriage, which can include but is not limited to health care, religion, and education.  Physical Custody. Physical custody for the purpose of this agreement refers to the authority to make routine and day-to-day decisions regarding the child and where the child's primary residence will be. children as follows:

delivered to school or daycare the following morning.

The parents believe they can work together to establish a holiday visitation schedule.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

Martin Luther King Day

President's Day

Spring Break Week

Easter Weekend

Mother's Day

Memorial Day

Father's Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Winter Holiday Break

Hanukkah

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Birthday visitation will be handled as follows:

 

Holiday, summer and extended visitation defined herein have precedence over regular parenting time/visitation. Any missed visitation due to holiday or extended visitation will not be made up at a later date. The parents will use thoughtful consideration when exercising and scheduling visitation so that the child education is not interfered with or hampered in any way.

shall be responsible for all costs of transportation to exercise visitation. The parties agree to allow one another the first opportunity to have the children if he or she is unable to care for the children during their scheduled time. The parties agree to work together to make decisions regarding childcare providers. The parties agree will be responsible for paying the health insurance for the minor child so long as it is available at no or nominal cost through their employment. The parties agree shall be responsible for any non-covered or co-pay expenses related to medical, dental, optometric, orthodontic, physical therapy, psychiatric or pharmaceutical needs of the minor children. 's educational, medical, dental, religious, insurance, and other records or information.

. This right does not require any school to hold a separate conference with each parent.

by written, telephonic, and electronic means.

receive health care treatment. The parent shall provide to the other parent a description of the serious accident or serious illness, the time of the serious accident or serious illness, and the name and location of the treating health care provider.

attend.

The parties acknowledge issues of child support regarding the parties' minor childUnder this court order is responsible for paying child support in the amount of . That court maintains continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over issues relating to the minor child of this marriage. A copy of all orders entered relative to child support are attached to this agreement and shall be incorporated into any Judgment or Decree of subsequently entered.

 

Virginia Separation

 

Please note that the state of Virginia does not grant legal separations. However, a marriage separation agreement may be used if a husband and wife agree to live separate and apart, and wish to resolve issues like property distribution, debt division, custody, visitation and support. With such an agreement in place, once the parties have separated and lived apart for a certain period of time (six months with no minor children, twelve months with minor children) either party may then file for an uncontested divorce on the no-fault ground of separation.

 

In general, a legal separation action follows the same path and process as a divorce. Every state has its own procedures and requirements for legal separation. In many states, you do not need to prove fault when filing for a legal separation. Instead you may need to assert there are irreconcilable differences that prevent the couple from living together as a married couple.

In Alabama, the requirements for a legal separation are the same as those in a divorce. You will have to prove to the court that you are an Alabama resident. If your spouse is not an Alabama resident, then you have to prove that you have been an Alabama resident for at least six months before filing. In addition to the residency requirement, you also need to establish that the marriage is either irretrievably broken or that one party desires to live separate and apart.

The Petition can be filed in your spouse's county or the county in which the separation occurred. If your spouse is no longer an Alabama resident, you can file the Petition with your county's circuit court.

Residency and Separation Requirements

In order to file for a legal separation, most states have a residency requirement that must be met before the action will be granted. Residency refers to the length of time you have resided in the state and county where you are filing for divorce. You will need to check with your County Clerk's office to see if you meet the residency requirement for filing for legal separation.

 

While you are filing for a formal legal separation, the Court may still require that the couple have been separated for a set period of time prior to granting the legal separation. Many states do not have this requirement, but you should check with your local Clerk's office to make certain.

 

Additional Assistance

The information contained in this article and help sections provided on RocketLawyer.com should not be construed as legal advice or used in lieu of seeking legal advice. If you have legal questions regarding the legal separation process or filing for legal separation, use Rocket Lawyer's Find A Lawyer search engine at http://www.rocketlawyer.com/attorney-directory.aspx to find an attorney in your area.

 

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Separation Agreement FAQs

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  • What is included in a Separation Agreement?

    A Separation Agreement includes many of the same terms as a divorce decree, including the following:

    • Who will retain possession and use of the marital home
    • Who will be responsible for the expenses of the marital home (mortgage, utilities, insurance)
    • If legal separation is converted to a divorce who will pay for the expenses of the marital home
    • How will assets and debts acquired during the marriage be divided including property, financial and retirement accounts, vehicles, insurance, debts, and business or corporate interests
    • Whether spousal support will be offered
    • Whether or not spousal benefits, such as medical insurance, will continue during the separation and who will pay for them
    • The terms of child support, custody and visitation rights (see Parenting Plan)
  • What is the difference between Separation and Divorce?

    Once a divorce is finalized by the court (usually when the court issues a divorce decree) the marriage is terminated. However, with a Marriage Separation Agreement, even if it is legally binding, you will still be legally married.

    The following are common reasons for seeking a separation instead of a divorce:

    • A couple may not be emotionally ready for a divorce.
    • The couple may object to divorce for religious, social or moral reasons.
    • A couple may not want to live together but do not want a divorce.
    • A couple may want to retain medical insurance, governmental or tax benefits that may continue because the couple is still considered to be married although living separate lives.
    • A couple resides in a state that requires a separation period before the couple may file for divorce.
    • If you are going to pay spousal support during separation, having a Legal Marriage Separation Agreement is required to enforce payment.
    • A couple wants to finalize separation of property and finances and other terms before starting a divorce proceeding.

    Please note that choosing to have a legally binding Marriage Separation Agreement is not necessarily faster or less expensive than filing for a divorce. You may want to consult with an attorney to help you assess your options.

  • How is a Marriage Separation Agreement signed?

    Both parties must sign the agreement in front of a notary public. Each spouse should retain a copy of the signed agreement. You may access a copy of the unsigned agreement using your Rocket Lawyer account. Members who would like to have a digital copy of the signed agreement saved to your Rocket Lawyer account, may simply scan and upload it.

  • Are Marriage Separation Agreements legally binding?

    Yes, a Marriage Separation Agreement is legally binding, even in states that do not recognize legal separation. Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Texas do not recognize legal separation as a formal status, but will still see a Marriage Separation Agreement as a binding contract between the parties. This type of agreement is usually filed with a court, where a judge will issue a court order granting the legal separation.

  • How long can you be legally separated?

    In most cases, for as long as you want. While many couples eventually end up filing for a divorce, some remain separated indefinitely. Some stay legally separated until one of the spouses desires to remarry. Many choose to stay officially married but separated for financial or personal reasons. Financial reasons may include health insurance, social security or pension benefits, or shared debt.

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