Realistically, a divorce is something that no one plans for. However, this is part of life and as such there are steps that couples take to try and work things out prior to going to court to end a marriage. The most common step prior to divorce is obtaining a legal separation. Most of the time  this is something that the parties involved, can take care of outside of a courtroom with the aid of their lawyers, as long as both are in full agreement with the terms.

Moreover, there are situations where child custody, support, for either the child or spouse, and property become areas of dispute. When this happens a separation can lock both parties into having long-term contact before and after an actual divorce. That being stated, having a separation document that provides anticipatory clauses for changes that can occur over time is the wise manoeuvre. This makes the following items some of the most common provisions that a separation agreement should contain.

  • Child support: Because the guidelines may change, this is one aspect that can vary due to the financial status of both parent’s and age of the child/children, therefore,  a provision
    for change is in order.
  • Spousal support: This provision is designed, namely, to provide enough time realistically, for the receiving person to become self reliable financially. Accordingly, the support recipient is obligated to prove their ability or inability for self sufficiency for continued or discontinued financial support.
  • Business Operation: Sometimes spouses start a business and wish to continue working together as partners. In this scenario, the need for specific guidelines stating the responsibilities and rights, for each from the standpoint of the business operation is important. Moreover, it may be necessary to provide clauses stipulating what to do should the unexpected occur. This translates into declaring immediate mediation for negotiating unforeseen circumstances.

In situations where mediation fails and a couple goes to court, it is typically due to a realization that they no longer agree with or are unhappy about how things turned out. In addition, there may be extenuating circumstances that have presented themselves that are effecting the need for a change that was unaccountable from the beginning. Nonetheless, with this in mind, it is important to understand the necessity for all parties involved to be aware of the structure of a separation agreement and how it will affect their lives over time.

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