Divorce is a complicated and emotional endeavor. Naturally, divorcing parents of young children have additional considerations over childless couples. The many complexities involved in reaching a desired outcome during a divorce, are weighed according to a number of different factors. In some cases, it can be helpful to ask an attorney to draw up a Separation Agreement.
A Separation Agreement is a written document that determines how the divorcing parties will handle matters relating to the end of the marriage. This Agreement can serve to clarify and simplify the overall divorce process. Normally, the agreement deals with child custody issues, parental visits, child support, alimony and division of assets and similar issues. The Agreement is only good if both parties agree to its terms and sign it voluntarily, without duress or intimidation. The Separation Agreement usually becomes part of the final divorce judgment.
The divorcing spouse who is being pressured to sign a Separation Agreement, or any document, should immediately consult with his or her attorney. It should be noted that a judge can refuse to accept a Separation Agreement if he or she deems it unfair according to the circumstances under which it is presented. He or she can also refuse to accept it if the judge learns that either party did not have a chance to consult with an attorney before signing it.
Although some couples attempt to write their own Separation Agreements, it is advisable to leave this job up to a legal professional. These are involved and technical documents that are difficult for the layperson to write. Some of the components of a legal Agreement of this type can have long-range implications that include serious matters such as tax consequences. An experienced Massachusetts family law attorney knows how to write a Separation Agreement that can accommodate the best interests of his or her client(s), and can make sure to include the possibilities of any changes in circumstances that could affect the children of the marriage, and other aspects.
If you are considering divorce and would like to discuss the importance of a Separation Agreement, please contact our office to schedule your consultation with an attorney.