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Separation Agreement Template

Here's what you'll find in the Separation Agreement :

  • A contract template for two married individuals to divide their responsibilities and assets in the process of preparing and filing for a divorce. 
  • Tips on common mistakes made, key items to pay attention to, and general resources which may be helpful
  • Advice on getting contracts signed quickly, digitally, and legally
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Separation Agreement Template

A separation agreement is an important document between two married individuals used to divide their responsibilities and assets in the process of preparing and filing for a divorce. This separation agreement template includes:

  • A pdf template for either a couple planning to separate.
  • A universal marital separation agreement to include various types of spousal support and agreements between the couple.
  • Space to include child support, visitation, and spousal support details.
  • Optional Notary and Witness page if required under state law.
  • Download your separation agreement template in minutes!

What is a Separation Agreement?  A separation agreement is an agreement between a married couple. It determines the division of things like property, assets, and other obligations. A separation agreement can be filed with the court before the divorce proceedings. It can also be considered during the divorce process by the presiding judge in the final decree and divorce judgment. Other names for a separation agreement include:

  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Divorce Agreement
  • Separation Papers
  • Marital Separation Agreement
  • Marriage Separation Agreement
  • Legal Separation Agreement
  • Legal Separation Papers
  • Divorce Settlement Agreement

There is a difference between divorce and separation. Separation is when the couple is still legally married but are no longer involved in a marital relationship. They either intend to file divorce proceedings in the future, remain permanently separated, or reconcile. Divorce is when a couple has officially received a decree of divorce and divorce judgment. A separation agreement is appropriate for legally married couples and may not be proper or enforceable for common-law spouses. Why Is a Separation Agreement Necessary? Separation agreements are used in a variety of circumstances. The most common situations when a separation agreement may be needed is in the following situations:

  • The couple is not yet ready for divorce – In these situations, the couple is not prepared to file formal divorce proceedings, but they wish to temporarily live apart. A separation agreement in this scenario is generally drafted when they start to live separately from one another and divide their financial and familial responsibilities during their separation.
  • The couple knows how they will divide their assets – A couple under these circumstances has already agreed upon how they wish to divide their debts, property, assets, and other obligations. The couple has also decided on each parent’s child support obligation and determined the custodial parents and visitation arrangements.
  • Permanently Separate – Some couples utilize a separation agreement if they wish to keep their marital status while permanently living apart and separate.

The Essential Elements of a Separation Agreement The elements of a separation agreement depend on several different factors. If the couple does not have children of the marriage or the children are over a certain age. A custody arrangement or support agreement such provision is not necessary. On the other hand, depending on each party’s assets, debts, and property, the separation agreement can either be relatively basic and straight forward or very detailed if there are more assets, liabilities, property, etc. The main components of a separation agreement include:

  • The Parties – Each spouse should be identified. This typically includes other basic information such as when and where the couple was married.
  • Custody and Child Support – The minor or dependent children of the marriage should be listed in the separation agreement, which includes their full legal name, gender, and date of birth. Details of custody, visitation, and child support obligations and schedules should also be detailed in the agreement.
  • Spousal Support – In some cases, alimony may be provided to one spouse. Sometimes this depends on how long the couple has been married—the purpose of spousal support to assist the other spouse in maintaining an acclimatized financial way of life. The amount of spousal support may also depend on both party’s income, health, age, contributions and sacrifices to the marriage, and other pertinent factors.
  • Property Division – The parties should itemize any real or personal property owned by the Parties at the time of their marriage and thereafter acquired separately or together. If the property has previously been divided and agreed to such property and the agreements of who the property belongs to should be incorporated in the separation agreement.
  • Debts and Obligations – Any debts acquired by the parties should be sorted out and detailed in the agreement (if applicable).

What Are Some Common Mistakes Found in Separation Agreements? Separation agreements should be detailed, reasonable, fair, and duly signed by both parties. It should be as detailed as possible. A court may reject a separation agreement if the terms are not in the best interest to the children of the marriage, a spouse’s failure to disclose certain assets and liabilities, or the separation agreement is unconscionable. While retaining a divorce attorney is not entirely necessary, it is a good idea to seek legal counsel while drafting a separation agreement. If one spouse was provided a separation agreement, it is also wise to meet with an attorney to review and explain the document before signing it. Each state has different requirements for separation agreements. For example, six states do not recognize legal separations (Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Delaware). Some states require a separation agreement to be notarized or witnessed by a competent adult. How to Get Your Separation Agreement Signed  Creating an enforceable separation agreement is crucial. It must be detailed, fair, and in the best interest of the parties involved. Electronic signatures are convenient and legally binding. It is always a good idea to obtain legal advice while drafting and executing a separation agreement. Our separation agreement template will help get you started customizing and planning your separation agreement. After signed by both parties, each party should obtain a copy of the separation agreement for their records. Resources The American Bar Association (ABA) can help point you in the right direction when drafting a separation agreement. The ABA can also help you locate a family law attorney in your state to consult while drafting or reviewing a separation agreement.

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This Separation Agreement, made and entered into on this _____ day of ________, 20__, by and between ____________________ (“Spouse One”) residing at __________________________________________, and ____________________(“Spouse Two”) residing at _______________________________________. Hereinafter may be collectively referred to as the “Parties.” Now, Therefore, in consideration of the foregoing, and in further consideration of the mutual and several covenants herein contained, and for other good and valuable considerations by each to the other delivered, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties do hereby freely and voluntarily agree by and between themselves as follows: INCORPORATION OF RECITALS The foregoing recitals are hereby made a part of this Agreement. That Spouse One and Spouse Two were legally married in the city of _____________, in the State of __________, on the _____ day of _______ in ______, and have continued to hold themselves out as married since. Because of irreconcilable differences and marital difficulties, the Parties have separated or will separate on _________________ with the intention of remaining apart and separate. [ ] The Parties have no children born during this marriage. Upon information and belief, the Wife is not now pregnant. [ ]The children were born to the Parties as issue of their marriage, all of whom are now adult; no children were adopted by the parties, and the Wife is not now pregnant. [ ] The Parties have _____ minor children together Child’s Full Legal Name Gender Date of Birth (mm/dd/year) Other: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ CHILD CUSTODY All Terms of Child Custody, Visitation, Maintenance and Support are attached as Exhibit A to this Agreement (if applicable). LIVING SEPARATE AND APART The Parties may and shall live separate and apart, each free from all dominion, restraint and control by the other, whether direct or indirect, as fully as if unmarried. Each party may reside at such place or places as he or she may select unless otherwise stated herein. NO INTERFERENCE OR MOLESTATION Neither Party shall molest or interfere with the other nor compel or attempt to compel the other to cohabit or dwell with them, by any means, by legal action or otherwise. DIVISION OF PROPERTY The property, both real and personal, owned by either of the Parties at the time of their marriage or subsequently acquired, separately or together, and owned by the parties or either of them at the time of their separation has previously been equitably divided and apportioned between them as follows: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ SEPARATE PROPERTY Each Party shall retain, have and enjoy, independently of any claim, right or demand of the other party, all property of every kind, nature and description and wherever situated that is now owned or held or is in the future acquired by them, or stands in their own name. RELEASE OF ESTATE RIGHTS Each party releases all right to share in the estate of the other party, or to serve as personal representative of the estate of the other party, except only as provided by will or codicil executed after the date of this agreement. SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SPOUSE [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall pay to [Spouse One/Spouse Two] as and for their necessary support and maintenance, and [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall accept in full settlement and satisfaction of their right, claim and demand for such support, maintenance and alimony against [Spouse One/Spouse Two], the following amounts: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ DEBTS AND OBLIGATIONS [ ] Each of the Parties shall pay all debts incurred by them after the date of this Agreement and shall indemnify the other party against liability for the same. [ ] [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall pay debts incurred by them or by [Spouse One/Spouse Two] or by the Parties jointly prior to the date of this agreement, including the following: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ [ ] [Spouse One/Spouse Two] represents that they have made a full disclosure to [Spouse One/Spouse Two] of all debts and obligations incurred by them and in their name prior to the date of this Agreement and that all such unpaid debts and obligations are included in the above list. ATTORNEY’S FEES Each of the Parties shall be solely responsible for any and all attorneys’ fees and Court costs incurred by them incident to the within proceedings. Each Party further covenants and agrees to save, indemnify, and hold the other harmless for any liability they may incur thereon. EFFECT OF DIVORCE OR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE This Agreement shall not be construed in any measure as a consent to or condonation of a divorce in favor of either party or dissolution of marriage, but this Agreement shall not be a bar to an action for divorce or a proceeding for dissolution of marriage previously or in the future filed. If a judgment or decree of divorce or dissolution of marriage is entered in any action or proceeding for the same, this Agreement and in particular the provisions for the custody and support of the children of the parties and, if appliable, for the support and maintenance of [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall, if the court approves, be incorporated in, merged with, and become a part of such judgment or decree. AMENDMENT AND CONSTRUCTION This Agreement may be amended by mutual agreement of the Parties at any time hereafter. Any such amendments shall be reduced to writing, dated, and signed by both of the parties, and shall specifically provide that it is intended to alter or amend this Agreement. No oral agreement shall be effective to in any manner modify or waive any terms, covenants, or conditions of this Agreement. GENERAL PROVISIONS A. Each party shall execute all instruments necessary to carry out the terms of this Agreement. B. This instrument contains whole and entire the Agreement made by and between the parties and has been examined by each of them and is believed by them to be fair, just, and equitable with respect to each of them. C. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, devisees, and grantees of the parties hereto, and when necessary to fully effectuate its undertakings, be a charge against the estate of the person indebted. D. It is expressly understood and agreed between the parties that in the event a Court of competent jurisdiction at any time after the entry of a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage holds that a portion of this Agreement is invalid, the remainder shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect. E. This Agreement shall become effective and binding upon the parties only upon the entry of a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage between the parties hereto. F. This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of ______________. G. The provisions of this Agreement shall be nonmodifiable except as herein provided. H. The captions contained in this Agreement are for convenience only and are not intended to limit or define scope or effect of any provision of this Agreement. I. Any word in the text of this Agreement shall be read as the singular or the plural and as the masculine, feminine, or neuter gender as may be appropriate under the circumstances then existing. [Signatures on Following Page] In Witness Whereof, the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and date first above written. Dated: _____________________________ ________________________________________ Spouse One’s Signature ________________________________________ Spouse One’s Printed Name Dated: _____________________________ ________________________________________ Spouse Two’s Signature ________________________________________ Spouse Two’s Printed Name Exhibit A Child Custody [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall have the sole care, custody and control of the above-referenced named children of the marriage and the named children shall reside with [Spouse One/Spouse Two].Such care, custody and control shall continue with respect to each child until the child reaches majority or sooner becomes emancipated, subject, however, to the visitation provisions set forth in this agreement. PLACE AND CONDITION OF RESIDENCE [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall not remove any of the unemancipated children to a permanent residence outside the State of ______________ without [Spouse One/Spouse Two]’s prior written consent or prior approval of a court of competent jurisdiction on due hearing and notice. [Spouse One/Spouse Two] and the children are now residing at: _____________________________________________________________________________________ in the county of ___________________, in the State of ______________. [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall at all times keep [Spouse One/Spouse Two] informed of the residential address of the children in their custody, and their location during vacation and holiday periods if they will be away from their normal residence for more than ______ days in succession. VISITATION RIGHTS [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall have the right to visit the children, individually or together, at their place of residence with [Spouse One/Spouse Two] at reasonable times and at reasonable intervals; and to have the children, or any of them, accompany them from their place of residence at reasonable times and for reasonable periods provided that they shall not keep any of the children away from their residence later than _______ time of day on any such occasion, without [Spouse One/Spouse Two]’s prior consent. [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall have the privilege of having the children, or any of them, visit them at their residence and stay with them not more often than _____ number of times per calendar month on weekends and during holiday periods for not to exceed _____hours. During such periods when the children or any of them are with [Spouse One/Spouse Two] they may take them on short excursions as they may choose and they may desire, provided that they shall not without the prior consent of [Spouse One/Spouse Two]’s take them from this state. [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall make prior arrangements with [Spouse One/Spouse Two] for each such weekend or holiday visit at least ______ days prior to the commencement of the visit. The rights of visitation expressed in this section shall not be exercised by [Spouse One/Spouse Two] at any time or in such a manner as to interfere with the education and normal social and school activities of any of the children. The Parties may freely agree to any different arrangements for exercise of the visitation rights of [Spouse One/Spouse Two], from time to time, as future exigencies and the welfare of the children may require, but no such substitute or additional privilege shall be deemed to amend this Agreement, unless expressed in writing and signed by the Parties. Each of the Parties shall at all times in good faith endeavor to maintain in all the children respect and affection for the other party. Other Visitation Guidelines & Agreements Exhibit A Child Custody (Continued) CONSULTATION CONCERNING EDUCATION, HEALTH AND WELFARE OF CHILDREN Notwithstanding [Spouse One/Spouse Two]’s general custody of the children, [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall confer with the other from time to time with respect to the welfare of the children, or any of them, and particularly as to educational, health and disciplinary matters of a substantial nature, such as, by way of examples, during the serious illness or prior to a scheduled operation of any of the children, or in connection with the selection of a college for the higher education of any of the children. It shall at all times be the objective of both Parties to decide all questions affecting each of their children in such manner as to promote the welfare, happiness and well-being of the children. SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF CHILDREN [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall pay to [Spouse One/Spouse Two] for the support, maintenance, care and education of each child in their custody in the amount of $ __________ monthly child support per month, beginning on the date of ___________________. On the occurrence of the first to occur of any of the following events with respect to each child, the obligation of [Spouse One/Spouse Two] to pay support for that child shall terminate at the end of the month in which such event occurs: (1) the death of the child; (2) the attainment of the child’s twenty-first birthday; or (3) an emancipation event as defined in the next section. The obligation of [Spouse One/Spouse Two] for support and maintenance of the children in the custody of [Spouse One/Spouse Two], as provided in this section, shall be separate from all other obligations contained in this agreement and shall continue as obligations of and charges against [Spouse One/Spouse Two]’s estate on their death, to the extent and for the period that such obligation shall be in force and effect at the time of their death. EMANCIPATION EVENTS For the purposes of this agreement, a child in the custody of [Spouse One/Spouse Two] shall become emancipated on the occurrence of any one of the following events: A. The valid marriage of the child; B. The full and permanent employment of the child gainfully and for a reasonable living wage, excluding vacation and seasonal employment of a temporary nature; C. The induction, enlistment or entry on active duty in the Armed Services of the United States for a term of service of not less than _____ years. The emancipation of any child shall be postponed beyond the event that would otherwise result in his or her emancipation if, at the time of such event, the child is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited institution of higher learning. Instead, the emancipation event for any such child shall be the date of the child’s graduation from that institution, provided, however, that the emancipation of any child shall not be extended beyond the child’s twenty-third birthday. Exhibit A Child Custody (Continued) Other: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dated: _____________________________ ________________________________________ Spouse One’s Signature ________________________________________ Spouse One’s Printed Name Dated: _____________________________ ________________________________________ Spouse Two’s Signature ________________________________________ Spouse Two’s Printed Name STATE OF _______________) COUNTY OF _____________) I, ________________________, a NOTARY PUBLIC in and for said County and State, hereby certify that _________________________, whose name is signed to the foregoing agreement and who is known to me, acknowledged before me on this day, that being informed of the contents of said SEPARATION AGREEMENT executed the same voluntarily on the day the same bears date. Given under my hand this the ______ day of ________________, 20____. _________________________ NOTARY PUBLIC, State at Large My Commission Expires: ______________ STATE OF _______________) COUNTY OF _____________) I, ________________________, a NOTARY PUBLIC in and for said County and State, hereby certify that _________________________, whose name is signed to the foregoing agreement and who is known to me, acknowledged before me on this day, that being informed of the contents of said SEPARATION AGREEMENT executed the same voluntarily on the day the same bears date. Given under my hand this the ______ day of ________________, 20____. _________________________ NOTARY PUBLIC, State at Large My Commission Expires: ______________ Witnesses: Name: _______________________________ Signature:_______________________ Name: _______________________________ Signature:_______________________

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