What Should Be Included in a Separation Agreement

By hrlineup | 17.12.2019

Relationships are great, often starting brilliantly and leaving the parties involved blissful. Over time, they often experience a whole host of challenges that affect the total comfort of the union and raise questions as to whether the relationship can survive. Whether you are looking at a relationship with a spouse, or you have a common law partner, you can put in place a separation agreement. With this agreement, in the event things do not work out and you choose to go your separate ways, this agreement makes things less messy, and can help prevent time spent in court.

For separation agreements to be valid and ensure that issues are well resolved, they need to have certain information including: –

Custody Arrangements for Children

Any union that has brought forth children should have a plan for what will happen with the children should there be a separation. Here, there should be details on the access schedule including who they shall be spending their holidays with, how much time each child should spend with each parent, and other aspects of the children’s lives.

Division of Property

All the property that has been accrued by both parties should be stated so that there is a net value established. Then, the split of it should be determined, either through ownership or sale. If there are any benefits of one owning a property over the other, this should be stated as well.

The Family Home

It should be agreed what happens to the family home when there is a separation, especially whether it will be sold or if there is a party that will continue living there with the children following the separation. In addition, the expenses that will be associated with the split should also be well determined in advance.

Details of a Separation Agreement

A separation agreement form should capture some key information and with a basic template, one can ensure that no key information is left out. These details include the names of the parties in the agreement and the date of the union or marriage. Then there are also the residency requirements. If there are children under the age of 18 years old, child support options should be discussed. In addition, there are assets and debts that need to be listed. In the event of one person offering spousal support, details of this should be listed. At the end of the form, it is important for there to be notarized signatures of both the parties so that the agreement is legally enforceable.

In a separation agreement sample, you should make sure that there are three main points raised so that if necessary, this agreement can be held up in a court of law. These include the following: –

  • Full disclosure from both parties of all the responsibilities that they have, as well as a comprehensive listing of all the assets.
  • Voluntary and free entry into the agreement, meaning that no party was under duress to comply with any of the terms within the agreement.
  • That the agreement is comprehensive and final, and that all involved are in agreement that it contains all relevant information in the event that there is any separation.
  • Clauses that provide for the way forward in the event that any of the parties die, the agreement is breached, or any of the parties cohabit or remarry.

When looking to fully understand what is a separation agreement, it is worth noting that it is not the same as a pre-nuptial agreement. With a separation agreement, the couple do not need to be married, but perhaps over time, they have built up some assets together and grown a family. This type of agreement ensures that there is minimal interruption to life and bad feelings involved during a separation, especially when there are children involved.

Before a person creates their own agreement, it is worth looking through some example separation agreements to understand all the factors involved, and then create a template that works for you. This type of agreement is excellent for dealing with emotional situations, it is smart when it looks at financial reasons, and also very practical for smooth continuity.