Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may need to be physically separated for up to 12 months before you obtain a final divorce. During this time, while living apart, a separation agreement can act as a legally binding document that directs the course of your financial conduct, both during separation and afterwards. Financially, a separation agreement can apportion marital assets and preserve assets that are non-marital. If you and your spouse own real property, a separation agreement can provide for the sale of a marital home and payment of the mortgage and other household expenses while the property is listed for sale.
In cases involving children, a separation agreement can define your parental rights, clarify holiday access schedules, and set forth guidelines for important parental decision-making.