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Breaking Apart: How A Separation Agreement Establishes The Rules Surrounding Your Post Divorce Behavior

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If you have just been asked for a divorce, you probably have no idea what a separation agreement entails. While you may be willing to sign just about anything right now, you shouldn't. If you have a tentative separation agreement that was drawn up through mediation, you have the right to have the agreement looked over by an attorney, like Goldberg Katzman PC. An attorney will look to see if the agreement is in your best interest, unlike a mediator who has to remain a neutral party.

A Separation Agreement Outlines Child Custody

The separation agreement will be the visitation and child custody document you must follow once it is accepted by the court. If you believe your former spouse should not have custody of your children, you must make this argument before you sign a separation agreement. You can't sign the agreement just to get it over with, only to turn around and try to take custody away from your former spouse a few months later. In this agreement, you should fight for what you want regarding a custody arrangement. This will include the days you want to have the children in your care and the holiday schedule you will follow. Even if you are currently feeling amicable, when the time comes to celebrate holidays, you will want a clear plan in place so there is no arguing about where the kids will be.

Property Division is Determined in a Separation Agreement

How your property will be divided will be included in your separation agreement. If the two parties are able to come up with a reasonable agreement that divides property fairly, the judge will be willing to sign off on the agreement. When the agreement does not seem fair to one spouse, the judge may ask for the agreement to be changed to reflect a more equitable division of property.

Debts will be divided as well during a divorce proceeding, and your separation agreement will outline who is responsible for what debt once your marriage is completely over. You may be responsible for credit card debt, income tax payments, or a car payment as part of your separation agreement. All assets and all debt will be divided between the divorcing parties.

To create a separation agreement, both parties will need to fill out a financial worksheet that outlines all assets and all liabilities. Both parties will request a custody arrangement if any children are involved, and child support will be determined based on the income of both parties as well as the amount of time the children spend with each parent.