If your relationship with your spouse is ending and you are planning to separate, but you are not yet certain you want to go through the divorce process, a separation agreement is one possible solution.
Regardless of your reason for separating, a Stamford separation agreements lawyer is available to assist you. A dedicated family attorney can advise you of your rights and help you draft an agreement that meets your specific needs and that will be enforceable.
A separation agreement is a legally binding contract that details how spouses are to handle specific financial and parenting issues once apart. It is a beneficial component to protect oneself during a marital separation. Separation agreements may address numerous issues, including but not limited to:
One reason that parties may choose to separate, rather than divorce, is for religious reasons. Whether the separation is temporary to determine the future of the marriage or is a permanent end to the relationship, a dedicated Stamford lawyer can help ensure that the agreement covers all necessary marital issues.
Couples should not depend on verbal agreements when planning to separate. With essential issues at stake, such as caring for their children, paying bills, and maintaining the family home, it is vital to put all of the terms of the separation into a written, enforceable contract. A properly drafted agreement can also safeguard the party’s assets if one spouse seeks more money or property later.
A separation agreement clearly defines whether assets each spouse acquires while living apart will become part of the marital estate. For example, if one spouse purchases a car during the separation and would like to retain that car in the event of a divorce, a separation agreement can ensure that the vehicle remains that individual’s separate property.
Connecticut General Statutes §46b-66 authorizes a court to incorporate the agreement into a final divorce decree if the couple decides to dissolve their marriage after entering into a separation agreement. However, a judge must first find that the agreement is fair and equitable to both spouses. By working with a knowledgeable attorney in Stamford who is familiar with separation agreements, an individual can simplify the legal separation process, saving both parties time, money, and the emotional expense of contested litigation.
To constitute a valid contract, both parties must enter the contract voluntarily and without undue influence or pressure from the other. If a judge determines that one individual was coerced into signing the agreement, the judge may refuse to enforce it.
Additionally, each individual should consult their own counsel in the area and work with them throughout the negotiation and drafting process. State law prohibits one legal representative from representing both parties to the agreement. If a party chooses to proceed without legal counsel, the contract should also expressly state that the party voluntarily waived his or her right to an attorney.
Because separation agreements are binding contracts, if one party violates the terms, the other may enforce the agreement by filing a Motion for Contempt in court. A judge can then order the non-compliant party to adhere to the agreement’s terms or face sanctions. Additionally, the non-compliant party may be ordered to pay the legal fees that the other party incurred to enforce the agreement.
Regardless of how complex your circumstances may be, an experienced Stamford separation agreements lawyer can help you reach a solution. Our seasoned legal team understands that you are trusting us with significant personal issues and will work to protect that. Call the firm today to discuss how a separation agreement can benefit your circumstances.