Sample of a Legal Separation Agreement
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Legal separation is a provision for the couples who neither wish to live together nor file for divorce. They just have to prepare a separation or settlement agreement in order to make their separation legitimate.
onditions of Legal Separation:
The separation starts right form the day when the couple starts living separate and apart. There are certain conditions which determine that the couple is indeed separated and thus, legal separation should be awarded. These conditions are as follows:
Legal Separation Agreement:
- No Sexual Relations – An important condition for a couple to be granted legal separation is that there should be no cohabitation between husband and wife. They must stay apart from each other physically. If they are staying in the same house, the rooms should be different. If there is no spare room, the beds should be different. But on no account should they be involved sexually. If the court finds out they have been indulging in sexual relations, it assumes that the differences have been sorted out and the lawsuit for legal separation is canceled by the court.
- Operating Separate Bank Accounts – There should not be any joint accounts and if any exist, they should be immediately changed to individual accounts. This is as a precaution in order to protect one's individual property such as salary or investments. After the separation or settlement agreement is signed, the court directs the fate of these bank accounts and they are divided accordingly. Till then, the couple is supposed to operate separate bank accounts to simplify the process of transition.
- No Sharing of Meals – The couple should not share any meals in a day. They are not supposed to cook for one another; nor are they supposed to wait for each other for a family meal. After the separation is granted, the couple can accompany the children for a family meal. However, till then they are not supposed to share any kind of meal together.
- No Contribution in Household Expenses – This is easier said than done as the process of legal separation could take a few weeks and till the household system may collapse entirely. If the couple is going for an amicable mutual separation, they can decide which bills are supposed to be paid by whom. It is wise to keep a record of which bills one paid from the date the couple separated and the date on which the legal separation is granted. After the direction of court regarding the household expenses, one can start a new system for household expenses accordingly.
- No Socializing as a Couple – The couple cannot go out with each other for dinner or lunch; neither can they attend the parties together whether they are office or club parties. They are also not supposed to attend parents' meetings as a couple. They can attend them as individual parents for the sake of the children. It is an ideal option for a couple who has been married for a long time, have minor children and have a considerable amount of investments, joint property and other assets.
A legal separation agreement is a document registering all the provisions regarding the marital issues of a couple. It settles the issues and protects the individual assets of the husband and the wife until the separation is granted.
There are many discussions and negotiations involved in the preparation of the separation agreement. These are regarding the assets and liabilities along with the issues such as support, maintenance, custody and visitation.
If the separation is amicable and both the parties agree on the major issues, it becomes easy to formulate a separation agreement and thus, the cost of separation is reduced considerably.
Sample of a Legal Separation Agreement:
It is a wise move to decide the provisions of a separation agreement beforehand. Various samples of legal separation agreement are available on the official websites of the concerned states. These samples are in a download or print format and one can also print it out on the word document so as to prepare it on one's own.
The legal separation agreement contains almost nine important fields. These are as follows:
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- Preliminary Matters – Names, date of marriage, place of marriage, residence address, details of attorneys hired and declaration of disclosure.
- Custody and Visitation – Names, ages and social security numbers of the children of marriage, custody and visitation details.
- Child Support – Amount to be payed by the husband to the wife and vice-versa for the sake of children's education and other basic necessities.
- Spousal Support – Amount to be given by the independent spouse to the dependent spouse.
- Household – Who will stay at the family home, who will own the vacation home, payment of household expense and who should be paying what.
- Debt and Expense Payment – Division of debts and expenses according to the individual property and the payment schedule.
- Personal Property – The details of the personal property.
- Insurance – Amount, dates, expiry and coverages of the various policies issued by both the husband and the wife.
- Attestation – Date of signing, signs of both the parties along with the notary, both the parties and the attorney.