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What does a separation agreement notate for the courts?

If you're considering getting separated from your spouse, you may want to consider a legal separation with a separation agreement.This agreement is created after you work through negotiations and discussions about your finances, liabilities and assets. This agreement can help you know what to expect in a divorce or finalized separation, and it can prevent you from having to work through months or years of negotiations in court.

What kinds of matters are listed in a separation agreement?

In a separation agreement, there will be preliminary matters listed first. This includes where you were married and when you decided to live apart. It also discusses the fact that you've been open and fair with each other about your finances, assets and liabilities. Both parties must sign and agree to the notations on the documents. If you don't believe your spouse has been fair or truthful, the agreement doesn't have to be signed.

Another section will discuss custody and visitation in the case that you have children. Each child will be listed with his or her name and date of birth along with a Social Security number. Each section following will say where the children are to live, how custody arrangements will work, and when visitation will take place. A schedule can be predetermined with this agreement. Either parent can be the primary custodian, depending on your preference, or this can be allowed to be decided by a judge.

Child support, spousal support, personal property matters and debts or expenses also are listed on the agreement. The person staying in the family home will be listed, while the other's new home address will be listed.

Source: FindLaw, "Separation Agreement," accessed Dec. 31, 2015

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