What does Separation Agreement mean?
A separation agreement is a written agreement which outlines how certain issues will be handled if a couple decides to legally separate but remain married. Common issues which are addressed with a separation agreement include child support payments, spousal maintenance payments, division of marital property, debt payments, child custody arrangements and child care issues.
Not all states recognize legal separation. Spouses who live in states without legal separation may petition the court for an interim order which addresses the same issues as a legal separation agreement. Because both the interim order and the separation agreement can influence the final divorce settlement agreement, if the couple decides to divorce, it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer prior to creating these agreements. Make sure your separation agreement has terms which you would be comfortable with after a divorce is finalized.