ContractsCounsel Logo

Marriage Separation Agreement

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 9,865 reviews
No Upfront Payment Required, Pay Only If You Hire.
Home Types of Contracts Marriage Separation Agreement

Jump to Section

A marriage separation agreement is a legally enforceable contract signed by husband and wife to divide property, debts, and other marital obligations equally.

A marriage separation agreement is executed when both partners mutually end their relationship. Therefore, it is rational to consult a professional attorney to help draft a comprehensive marriage separation agreement. State laws govern marriage and divorce, and each state has laws governing detachment and separation agreements ; you must understand some fundamental ideas when going through a separation and negotiating a settlement.

An attorney can help you draft the terms of alimony, child support, visitation rights, and property division and create a confidential contract that benefits both parties. Moreover, before divorce procedures start, a lawyer can submit a finished separation agreement to the court for official records. Since a separation agreement is a legal contract, both parties in the marriage should carefully evaluate their positions and work diligently to get a complete understanding to avoid any concerns or conflicts.

What Is The Difference Between Divorce and Separation

Although many individuals may view divorce and separation as fundamentally the same, there are distinctions between them. A separation agreement is a legally enforceable contract; you wouldn't typically need to appear in court to formalize the agreement because a judge is not required to enforce decisions regarding a separation.

A separation occurs when both partners mutually end their marriage but not officially, and they can nullify the agreement as per their wish. On the other hand, some couples decide to split first, anticipating that one or both of them will file for divorce if they can't resolve their disagreements. Moreover, a judge must frequently be present during a divorce to issue the final divorce decree. The partners involved in the divorce will no longer be husband and wife to their partner once the divorce is finalized.

Why Draft a Separation Agreement?

The primary reason you must create a separation agreement is that both the husband and wife benefit when they end their relationship. For instance, if you've been renting a home with your spouse for a while, you've probably shared many necessities, and the bare minimum can be financial planning for your house, car, and joint savings fund.

Also, you might've shared parenting duties and financial obligations, including household expenses, credit card bills, and house payments. You can even divide expenses like the cost of sending your children to school or future pension and pay-out income.

A separation agreement aims to clarify how to handle these jointly owned interests and to outline any immediate actions that must be taken (such as remortgaging the primary residence so that one of you can withdraw some equity while keeping a roof over the heads of the other family members).

Furthermore, it highlights new arrangements such as a child or spousal maintenance payments and family access to children. Hence drafting an agreement gives both parties a chance to decide and acknowledge their consent. It can significantly reduce the likelihood of uncertainty and misunderstandings in the future.

Using a Separation Agreement: Key Tips

  • If you're married and intend to divorce

    If you don't want to divorce or can't yet file for divorce, you might want to engage in a separation agreement as an alternative. In addition, there is no need to go to court when using a separation agreement, which has the benefit of leaving open the prospect of reconciliation.

    The agreement may be used as evidence of the separation date and as the foundation for the court's decisions regarding dividing assets and duties if the separation leads to divorce.

    The separation agreement is not the only ground on which the court may make a legally enforceable order. However, if the agreement is equitable to each spouse and any children of the marriage, complete fiscal disclosure was made, and there hasn't been a change in circumstances that would make it unsuitable, the court is likely to approve it.

  • If You're Separating but not Married

    A separation agreement may be a helpful instrument for unmarried couples to resolve the issue of dividing jointly owned assets and obligations. For instance, a couple who cohabitates could want to formally decide how to divide the remaining rent due on a fixed-term lease. Unlike married couples, common-law partners are not afforded the same legal protections. They don't have the same rights, especially with divorce.

    If you are not married, making separation decisions may be challenging because there was neither a legal marriage nor a chance to settle on shared assets and duties. Your shared interests may have changed in an unclear way over time.

    Moreover, you will have the chance to choose what is reasonable for each party and collectively decide on creating a separation agreement, minimizing the likelihood of misunderstanding or prejudice. Besides, it is a good idea to formalize the split with an agreement to avoid conflict later.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Danny J.

4 projects on CC
View Profile

Benjamin W.

74 projects on CC
View Profile

Terence B.

81 projects on CC
View Profile

Sara S.

107 projects on CC
View Profile

Key Terms

  • Legal Custody: The authority to make necessary decisions about the raising of your kid on issues such as religious upbringing, health care, education, etc.
  • Mediation: A type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for settling legal conflicts without proceeding to trial by using a professional and unbiased third party who tries to bring the parties in mutual accord.
  • Premarital Agreement: A contract executed by the parties before marriage specifies each party's privileges and obligations if the marriage terminates by divorce or death.


When creating a separation agreement, you must ensure dividing possessions and other items fairly for both parties. Although it need not be exactly equal, it must not be exceptionally unfair to avoid the court invalidating the agreement throughout the divorce process.

However, if you think you cannot execute a separation agreement alone, it is better to seek our professional help at ContractsCounsel to avoid any hassles and non-compliances.

Need help with a Marriage Separation Agreement?

Create a free project posting

Meet some of our Marriage Separation Agreement Lawyers

Briana C. on ContractsCounsel
View Briana
5.0 (54)
Member Since:
February 15, 2021

Briana C.

Founder, Branch Legal LLC
Free Consultation
Boston, MA
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, MA, NY
Columbia University School of Law

Legal services cost too much, and are often of low quality. I have devoted my law practice to providing the best work at the most affordable price—in everything from defending small businesses against patent trolls to advising multinational corporations on regulatory compliance to steering couples through a divorce.

Samuel R. on ContractsCounsel
View Samuel
5.0 (40)
Member Since:
October 2, 2021

Samuel R.

Free Consultation
Phoenix - Arizona
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AZ, PA, UT
Widener University Delaware Law School

My career interests are to practice Transactional Corporate Law, including Business Start Up, and Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as Real Estate Law, Estate Planning Law, Tax, and Intellectual Property Law. I am currently licensed in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Utah, after having moved to Phoenix from Philadelphia in September 2019. I currently serve as General Counsel for a bioengineering company. I handle everything from their Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Placement Memorandums, and Corporate Structures to Intellectual Property Assignments, to Employment Law and Beach of Contract settlements. Responsibilities include writing and executing agreements, drafting court pleadings, court appearances, mergers and acquisitions, transactional documents, managing expert specialized legal counsel, legal research and anticipating unique legal issues that could impact the Company. Conducted an acquisition of an entire line of intellectual property from a competitor. In regards to other clients, I am primarily focused on transactional law for clients in a variety of industries including, but not limited to, real estate investment, property management, and e-commerce. Work is primarily centered around entity formation and corporate structure, corporate governance agreements, PPMs, opportunity zone tax incentives, and all kinds of business to business agreements. I have also recently gained experience with Estate Planning law, drafting numerous Estate Planning documents for people such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Directives, and Trusts. I was selected to the 2024 Super Lawyers Southwest Rising Stars list. Each year no more than 2.5% of the attorneys in Arizona and New Mexico are selected to the Rising Stars. I am looking to further gain legal experience in these fields of law as well as expand my legal experience assisting business start ups, mergers and acquisitions and also trademark registration and licensing.

Daehoon P. on ContractsCounsel
View Daehoon
4.8 (111)
Member Since:
November 26, 2021

Daehoon P.

Corporate Lawyer
Free Consultation
New York, NY
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
American University Washington College of Law

Advised startups and established corporations on a wide range of commercial and corporate matters, including VC funding, technology law, and M&A. Commercial and Corporate Matters • Advised companies on commercial and corporate matters and drafted corporate documents and commercial agreements—including but not limited to —Convertible Note, SAFE, Promissory Note, Terms and Conditions, SaaS Agreement, Employment Agreement, Contractor Agreement, Joint Venture Agreement, Stock Purchase Agreement, Asset Purchase Agreement, Shareholders Agreement, Partnership Agreement, Franchise Agreement, License Agreement, and Financing Agreement. • Drafted and revised internal regulations of joint venture companies (board of directors, employment, office organization, discretional duty, internal control, accounting, fund management, etc.) • Advised JVs on corporate structuring and other legal matters • Advised startups on VC funding Employment Matters • Drafted a wide range of employment agreements, including dental associate agreements, physician employment agreements, startup employment agreements, and executive employment agreements. • Advised clients on complex employment law matters and drafted employment agreements, dispute settlement agreements, and severance agreements. General Counsel • As outside general counsel, I advised startups on ICOs, securities law, business licenses, regulatory compliance, and other commercial and corporate matters. • Drafted or analyzed coin or token sale agreements for global ICOs. • Assisted clients with corporate formations, including filing incorporation documents and foreign corporation registrations, drafting operating and partnership agreements, and creating articles of incorporation and bylaws. Dispute Resolution • Conducted legal research, and document review, and drafted pleadings, motions, and other trial documents. • Advised the client on strategic approaches to discovery proceedings and settlement negotiation. • Advised clients on employment dispute settlements.

Meghan T. on ContractsCounsel
View Meghan
4.8 (13)
Member Since:
February 1, 2022

Meghan T.

Free Consultation
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA
Emory University

Meghan Thomas is an accomplished transactional attorney. She specializes in real estate transactional matters, property disputes, IP, tech and business contracts. Meghan's innovative leadership style has attributed to the firm's rapid development and presence in the metro-Atlanta market. She obtained her Doctor of Law from Emory University where she worked with the State Attorney General and litigated property disputes for disadvantaged clients. ​ Prior to practicing, Meghan negotiated complex transactions for Fortune 500 tech and healthcare companies. She lives with her family in Southwest Atlanta, enjoys cooking, travel, dance and continues to develop her research in the areas of transactional law and legal sustainability.

Amos M. on ContractsCounsel
View Amos
Member Since:
January 14, 2022

Amos M.

Free Consultation
Nashville, TN
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in GA, TN
Mississippi College School of Law

Since 2008, I have worked to assist clients in solving problems and addressing challenges that inevitably arise as a business grows - both anticipated and unexpected. My experience in Georgia and Tennessee in both drafting contracts and enforcing them via litigation and/or arbitration has provided clients with unique insights that help them anticipate problems and inform their decisions from start to finish.

Leah C. on ContractsCounsel
View Leah
Member Since:
January 18, 2022

Leah C.

Free Consultation
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AL
Birmingham School of Law

I am an attorney licensed in Alabama and have been in solo practice for 7 years. I have experience in Contracts drafting and review, Litigation and Immigration practice areas. I am available for new projects.

Cecilia O. on ContractsCounsel
View Cecilia
Member Since:
January 31, 2022

Cecilia O.

Contracts Attorney
Free Consultation
San Antonio
17 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CT, MD
Ghana School of Law

With 15 years of extensive transactional/contracts experience reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts including a wide variety of purchase orders and contracts and non-disclosure agreements (NDA), I believe I can immediately contribute to the continued success of your team. I have been commended for a range of valuable skills—excellent contract management and contract administration, legal research, risk analysis, drafting and negotiations, and strategic thinking. I have worked as a legal consultant for 10+ years and I have reviewed over 7,500 contracts through this position. Contracts I have reviewed include but not limited to purchase orders, commercial and construction contracts, equipment rental agreements, non-disclosure, confidentiality, vendor agreements, service agreements, site access agreements, international agreements, request for proposals (RFP), bids and government contracts. These experiences have enabled me to master the ability to work independently and expeditiously to identify and assess issues and provide legally sound recommendations, consistent with good business practices. I have led teams (sales, insurance and management) to successfully negotiate contract terms with customers. Effective Communicator and Negotiator. I am a people person, and for the past 13 years, I have acquired excellent oral and written communication skills that enable me to interact and negotiate effectively with stakeholders at all levels. I am a self-starter with a strong work ethic. I have a high degree of resourcefulness, diligence, and dependability. Most important, I adapt to changing priorities quickly, thriving in an environment with high volume and short turnaround deadlines. My experience over the years allows me to transfer my skills to all types of contracts to meet the client’s needs. I am hopeful to provide similar legal expertise, effective contract administration and leadership to your organization. It would be a pleasure to meet within the next few weeks and discuss how my qualifications, experience, and capabilities will best fit the needs of your outfit.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Need help with a Marriage Separation Agreement?

Create a free project posting
Family lawyers by top cities
See All Family Lawyers
Marriage Separation Agreement lawyers by city
See All Marriage Separation Agreement Lawyers

ContractsCounsel User

Recent Project:
Location: New York
Turnaround: Less than a week
Service: Drafting
Doc Type: Marriage Separation Agreement
Number of Bids: 2
Bid Range: $700 - $1,500

ContractsCounsel User

Recent Project:
Prenup agreement before marriage
Location: North Carolina
Turnaround: A week
Service: Drafting
Doc Type: Marriage Separation Agreement
Number of Bids: 2
Bid Range: $999 - $1,000
related contracts
See More Contracts
other helpful articles

Need help with a Marriage Separation Agreement?

Create a free project posting

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city