Separation Agreement Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Separation Agreement, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Separation Agreement?

(n) Separation agreement is the agreement between a married couple to live apart either at the same place or at different places, with out maintaining relationship, as per the terms contained in the agreement of separation.

History and Meaning of Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a contract between two spouses that sets out the terms of their separation, including division of property, spousal support, child custody, and any other issues related to the end of their marriage. It is a legal document and once signed by both parties it becomes an enforceable agreement. A separation agreement can be used as a precursor to divorce, but it is also a commonly used document for couples who have no plans to divorce but want to separate and live apart.

The use of separation agreements dates back to the 19th century in England when courts began to recognize the validity of contracts between spouses. Today, separation agreements are widely used in the United States as a way for separating spouses to agree on important issues without the need for court intervention.

Examples of Separation Agreement

  1. Mary and John have decided to separate and live apart but do not want to get a divorce. They hire lawyers to draft a separation agreement that sets out their respective rights and responsibilities.
  2. Sarah and her husband Bill have decided to divorce and have reached a settlement on all issues, including division of property, child custody, and spousal support. They have signed a separation agreement that has been incorporated into their divorce decree.
  3. Tom and Cheryl have separated and are living apart, but they have not yet agreed on how to divide their assets. They are negotiating a separation agreement to address this issue and other issues related to their separation.

Legal Terms Similar to Separation Agreement

  1. Divorce Settlement Agreement - a similar document used in divorce cases that sets out the terms for the dissolution of the marriage.
  2. Prenuptial Agreement - a contract between two parties signed before marriage that outlines the division of assets in the event of divorce or separation.
  3. Postnuptial Agreement - a contract similar to a prenuptial agreement, but signed after the couple is already married.