A separation agreement could be a variety of things. It could simply be an agreement between the two parties that they will no longer live together as husband and wife. It could also be an agreement that involves the resolution between the parties on how assets are going to be divided, how support is going to be paid, and even, to some extent, what custody will look like for minor children. Separation is simply when two parties stop living together as husband and wife, while divorce is an actual legal dissolution of the marital relationship.
With regards to these types of agreements, a Leesburg separation agreement attorney is useful in terms of explaining to a party contemplating a separation agreement what their rights would be, should the divorce case be litigated in the courts. By securing the assistance of a Leesburg family law attorney who is familiar with state laws, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that someone is there to advocate on your behalf at each step of the legal process.
What Separation Agreements Cover
A separation agreement is a legally enforceable contract, that must always be in writing, and typically does not have an expiration date. It can be useful to have language in the agreement indicating that if one party waits for a short time before enforcing their rights that they are not waiving them, but otherwise, agreements are enforceable at any time moving forward. A separation agreement can encompass as much or as little as the parties agree to, but the various possibilities include an agreement that the parties are separating by consent and a defining of each party’s respective rights as to the division of their assets and liabilities, as well as in the event of a spouse’s death.
It can be important to show that a separation was done by consent, and therefore neither party will be charged with desertion in the divorce case. Separation agreements can also be useful because the more issues that are resolved by way of agreement between the parties, the less there is to fight about in court in the divorce case.
Benefits of an Agreement
This kind of separation agreement could settle terms of spousal support where appropriate, as well as child support and custody to some extent, although child support and custody agreements are subject to the approval of the court. A separation agreement and a dedicated Leesburg separation agreement attorney can prevent a divorce case from becoming expensive and emotionally taxing, to the extent the parties are able to resolve the issues between them.
A separation agreement may prevent each party from taking certain actions that would affect the other party adversely. A separation agreement may prevent a party from being able to move money between accounts in order to protect the rights of the other party. This resolution can provide a sense of security to both parties, allowing them to plan for their respective futures in the middle of a difficult time in their lives, and an experienced Leesburg separation agreement attorney will be able to help to mitigate the pressures of this time.
For the most part, a separation agreement cannot be modified. However, when it comes to issues related to minor children such as custody and visitation and child support, these items are subject to the court’s approval and can be modified. Additionally, parties may provide the means to modify spousal support in the agreement itself, if the terms are clearly outlined. Otherwise, these agreements are not modifiable absent the mutual consent of the parties who entered into the agreement.
Additionally, should the parties address spousal support in a settlement agreement and specifically state in the agreement that the court shall retain jurisdiction to modify it, then the court may have the ability to modify spousal support as well. However, this ability is dependent upon the parameters set forth by the parties in the separation agreement.
A separation agreement is valid until the parties, with the help of a separation agreement attorney in Leesburg, enter into a later agreement that supersedes the original agreement. Contact Leesburg separation agreement attorney for assistance in this process.