Restoring Your Child’s Future

5 Components Of Your Separation Agreement

If you are in the process of divorce, one of the divorce attorney services you may avail yourself of is a separation agreement. While this document is not a pre-requisite of divorce in most states, having one can benefit both parties. A separation agreement can help clarify things until your divorce becomes final. Here are a few components your agreement may contain.  

1. Relevant Dates

There are several dates your separation agreement should contain. These dates include:

  • The effective date of the agreement
  • The date of your marriage
  • The date of your separation
  • The birthdates of any children born in the marriage

The agreement should also include the date both parties sign the contract. 

2. Legal and Physical Custody Of Any Children

If any minor children are born or legally adopted during the marriage, the separation agreement should spell out which parent will have legal and physical custody of these children.

Even if you agree to joint custody, all visitation or time sharing in your agreement should outline the arrangements. Defining the arrangements on paper will ensure the understanding of all involved parties. Your contract may also include a parenting plan with additional guidelines.

3. Financial Support

If one party has a financial obligation to another, your separation agreement should spell out this information. A few types of financial support may include:

  • Alimony 
  • Child Support
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Daycare Assistance

Your agreement should also include any other financial arrangements to which you agree. 

4. Property Distribution

Most marriages contain various types of property. Property is much more than real estate and could include bank accounts, collections, vehicles, furnishings, tools, business property, etc.

You may not have finalized some distributions at the point of separation. The separation agreement needs to include the allocations you have decided upon. 

Your contract needs to spell out who will have possession of the property. You also need to include clear instructions about who will continue to pay for any financed property. This understanding is especially true if the other party possesses the property.

5. Tax Benefits

People often overlook tax benefits in separation agreements. But both parties need to discuss how you will file your taxes when separated.

You also need to agree on who will receive any tax credits, including the child tax credit the government may award. Divorce attorneys may advise you to seek the services of a financial advisor before you sign on the dotted line of your separation agreement. 

For more information, contact a local divorce attorney