Many people still imagine the separation process as an award-winning Hollywood drama, complete with a good guy, a villain, and a plot fit for the likes of reality television. Don’t get me wrong; these cases do exist! But more often than not, the story is not so salacious.
If the blood is not so bad between you and your spouse, it may be possible to reach an agreement, often called a “Separation and Property Settlement Agreement.” Basically, this allows you to contract with your spouse to distribute your marital assets and debts. One party will promise to reside separate and apart from the other as consideration for the contract. These types of agreements can also address issues such as child custody, visitation, and child support.
It may be the case that you and your spouse can come together to resolve these issues by way of agreement, and more often than not, your collaborative effort will save you money, time, and hopefully, stress. Speaking to the logistics in these situations, one spouse will often retain an attorney to assist in the preparation of the agreement itself. If one attorney prepares the agreement, the other spouse should be given the opportunity to consult with his or her own attorney. Once given this opportunity, both spouses can simply sign the agreement before a notary, and, if properly drafted, the document becomes a binding contract between you and your spouse.
As I said at the beginning, not all cases can be addressed in this manner: So what happens if you and your spouse just can’t get along? Find out in our next blog…stay tuned!