Reasons Why You Need A Legal Separation Agreement
Most married couples who want to split up will just split up. They rarely bother with a separation agreement unless they actually think that they will divorce. However, it is still a good idea to have a legal separation agreement with legally enforceable rules for each partner in the marriage.
A Separation Agreement Is Like a Trial Divorce Agreement
Odd though this sounds, a divorce is rarely a real thing until it is. That means that one or both partners may just ignore splitting up and do nothing to fix the marriage or do other things that put the marriage or the children at risk. The separation agreement, then, is a stark slap in the face, a wake-up call, if you will. It is a "trial divorce" that makes each partner follow a set of rules and accept responsibility for their actions. When things go awry with the separation agreement, the couple knows what they have to modify if they are going through with a divorce.
The Separation Agreement Either Allows Infidelity or Bans It
Within the terms of a separation agreement, couples can choose to have an arrangement whereby each may have one extramarital partner or relationship during the separation without fear of punishment from the other partner.
They can also choose to forbid such relationships, with the intention of just spending time apart to sort out their thoughts and feelings and/or seek out marriage counseling for their problems. In some marriages, where one partner has substantial wealth, it is generally agreed that any extramarital activities while the couple is separated means that the offending party receives nothing in the divorce.
If Everything about the Separation Agreement Works, It Becomes the Divorce Agreement
So, let's think about this. You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse write the iron-clad and perfect separation agreement. Everyone thinks the situation works perfectly, and most everyone is happier with being separated. Even the kids like how you arranged their visitation time with the other parent. If that is the case, you can take all of the terms of your separation agreement and turn the agreement into your divorce agreement if and when things get that far.
Nobody Gets Away With Anything
Particularly bitter break-ups leave a lot of room for distrust. Neither partner feels that the other will comply with a verbal agreement. Therefore, a legally binding separation agreement ensures that nobody "gets away with" anything.
For more information, contact your preferred separation agreement lawyer.