Divorce isn’t always right for every couple when the time has come to part ways. Religious beliefs and personal preferences may make divorce challenging. However, while separated, a couple does need to sort through financial matters. This is where separation agreements can be helpful. Consider talking to a family law attorney in Paterson, NJ, to discuss the process of obtaining a separation agreement. Your family attorney will design the separation agreement to meet your unique needs and protect your assets.
Terms of the Agreement
No two separation agreements are alike, but they do contain similar terms. Before meeting with your family law attorney, take some time to gather together information that pertains to your marital and non-marital assets. A separation agreement can resolve many financial matters, including household expenses, child support, spousal support, daycare expenses, health insurance and medical bills, tax returns, and tax arrears. A separation agreement can also address mortgage payments, property taxes, and car payments.
Validation of the Document
Before a separation agreement goes into effect, its terms must be captured in writing by the family law attorney. The agreement must be examined by both parties. Then, the agreement must be signed by both parties in the presence of a notary public. At this point, the debts and property of each party may be made separate.
Arguments for Setting Aside the Agreement
In some cases, a spouse may later decide that he or she wants to set aside the separation agreement. When this happens, the spouse can consult a family services lawyer to find out if setting aside the agreement may be possible. To set aside the agreement, the lawyer may argue that the original separation agreement was made under duress, that it is not a fair distribution of the marital assets, or that the agreement is simply unconscionable. This means that no fair and honest person could reasonably be expected to accept the agreement. A separation agreement might also be set aside if it was created based on a mistake of fact, such as an inaccurate appraisal of assets.