A separation agreement is a contract between the parties to the litigation which is entered into prior to the final dissolution of the parties’ marriage. A separation agreement settles all issues arising out of the breakup of the parties’ marriage. Common issues which are resolved by a separation agreement include, but are not limited to the disposition of personal property, real property, pension rights, debts, alimony, child custody, child support, medical insurance, taxes and any other issues between the parties.
A separation agreement can be entered into whenever the parties reach an agreement. Agreements can be reached at any time, including even before the parties separate, all the way through the process up until the point the judge issues a final order. However, parties should only enter into a separation agreement if they have full knowledge of all the financial and other aspects of the case and with the advice of an experienced family law attorney.
Unless the terms of the separation agreement provide that it can be modified, it is permanent as to all issues except those in relation to children, to include, but not be limited to custody, visitation, parenting time, child support and the dependency exemption. Issues related to the children are potentially modifiable in the future based upon a substantial change in circumstances which effect the best interest of the minor children.