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Separation Agreements

A separation agreement is an agreement between two married people who have agreed to live apart for an unspecified period of time, perhaps forever.  The agreement generally covers topics like alimony (money paid for spousal support), child support, custody arrangements if there are children, payment of bills, and management of separate bank accounts.  A separation agreement may also determine division of property if the separation appears permanent.  A separation agreement cannot be enforced by court order unless one party files a petition for legal separation or files a lawsuit for specific performance of a contract.  If the couple reconciles, the separation agreement can be cancelled by the parties.  However, most separation agreements are interim agreements to serve between the time of separation and the eventual divorce of the parties.

State laws greatly vary with respect to separation agreements.  The laws of all the states relating to separation agreements can be found at the following links.

Inside Separation Agreements