After a legal separation, a husband and wife may enter into a legal contract called a separation agreement. A separation agreement deals with the division of assets and liabilities. Commonly, these agreements settle issues involving:

If I Have Children, Should They Be Included in the Separation Agreement?

Matters involving children can be included in the separation agreement. It may actually be in the best interest to include a section regarding children because it can reduce confusion or arguments between the parents.

What Should Be Included in the Children Section of the Agreement?

Each separation agreement is specific and unique for every family, but typically, this section includes the following:

Basic information about the child:

  • Name of the child
  • Age of the child/ Date of birth
  • The child’s Social Security Number
  • Emancipation event and date of any child, if necessary

Child Support:

  • Amount of payment
  • Duration of payment
  • Time of payment
  • Listing of emancipation events and any effect this will have on child support

Child Custody and Visitation:

  • Type of child custody (sole or joint custody)
  • The parent each child will reside with
  • Restrictions on the change of residence by spouse with custody
  • Parental rights and joint decisions on educational and major medical matters
  • Visitation rights and schedule

Should I Get an Attorney to Help Me Draft the Separation Agreement?

Yes, a separation agreement is critical to protecting your rights and a poorly drafted agreement could result in lost custody or seeing your children less than you would like. An experienced family law attorney can special tailor an agreement for all your needs and help you draft a separation agreement that is right for you.