FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about separation agreements. If you are getting a divorce you will most likley find yourself signing a Separation or Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA). It is very important that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to before signing your agreement.
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List of FAQs About Separation Agreements
- What is a separation agreement?
- Is a separation agreement the same as a prenuptial agreement?
- Do you need a court hearing to have a separation agreement?
- Is a separation agreement the same thing as a divorce agreement?
- Do I need a lawyer for a separation agreement?
- Where do I get examples of separation agreements?
- What does a separation agreement address?
- Can I submit an agreement to my spouse and get him or her to sign it?
- I thought you said that the couple negotiates the agreement, and then is approved by the court.
- Why does the Judge scrutinize the agreement?
- Doesn’t a separation agreement make divorce more common?
- Doesn’t a separation agreement make a divorce easier?
- Why should we use a separation agreement? Do we have to?
- What do you mean? What kind of conditions?
- What do you mean, an "illegal" reason?
- What are some of those requirements?
- What if I suspect that my husband is hiding something?
- I’ve heard that a separation agreement is separate to all the other agreements. Is this true?
- What’s the practical difference between merged and incorporated?
- Why are "merged" and "incorporated" different?
- Isn’t a merged separation agreement better?
- Does the "independent life" of an agreement have any other effect after the decree?
- Can I ask to have my agreement merged?
- What if I don’t want the agreement merged? Can I have my agreement incorporated?
- What if I want it merged and my husband wants it incorporated?
- Can the judge merge the agreement even if my spouse and I agree that it should be incorporated?
- Can my spouse and I specify our child custody arrangement in our separation agreement?
- If we can specify our child custody arrangement, does the court have to approve it?
- What if we cannot agree on our child custody arrangement?
- Can we put in our agreement that one spouse shall have custody and legal decision making rights?
- How is this stated in the separation agreement?
- What would be considered as "major decisions"?
- Would we be able to specify a joint custody arrangement in our agreement?
- How would a typical clause for joint custody read?
- Would we have to declare where the child(ren) would live under a joint custody arrangement?
- How can that be phrased?
- What if we would not be able to agree on the "routine decisions" after the agreement has been executed?
- Can the interests of the children be included in the agreement?
- Are there other clauses we can add, which address issues related to education, religious, or social activities?
- Can we spell out our child support agreement within our separation agreement?
- If we spell out our child support agreement in our separation agreement, does the judge have to accept it?
- If the judge sets aside the child support part of the agreement, is the rest of the agreement invalid?
- Does this mean that we can’t make our child support agreement different from the guidelines?
- Can my separation agreement stop my spouse from moving away with the children?
- Can I have my separation agreement provide for the support of our children through college?
- What if my child never graduates from college, and just keeps taking courses indefinitely?
- What if I want my child support to end if my daughter gets married?
- What do you mean, "void as against public policy"?
- Can I make my spouse agree to pay all medical expenses?
- Can I put in my agreement that child support cannot be modified?
- Can I put in my agreement the idea of a fixed child support increase, instead of allowing modification?
- Can I put in my agreement that my estate would be responsible for child support payments should I decease?
- Can I address spousal support in my separation agreement?
- Can I waive spousal support in my separation agreement?
- How would a spousal support waiver read?
- Do I have to satisfy certain obligations with regard to spousal support?
- Can I set up a payment period for spousal support, with it ending on a certain date?
- How can I establish circumstance(s) that terminate spousal support?
- Can I waive a modification of spousal support in my separation agreement?
- What if my financial circumstances change for the worse? Can I put in a provision that protects me?
- What would a clause which permits modification look like?
- Can I provide for a one-time payoff of spousal support in my agreement?
- If my wife and I agree on a lump sum payment, can she ask for a modification should her circumstances change?
- Can I request that my separation agreement contain a provision for medical insurance coverage?
- I want to make sure that my agreement is considered fair for both my spouse and me. How can I be assured?
- Can we negotiate for permanent alimony?
- If I negotiate permanent alimony with my ex-spouse, does this mean the level of support will be unchanged forever?
- If my ex-wife and I agree to permanent spousal support, do I have to pay even if she remarries?
- Is it always true that remarriage causes permanent spousal support to cease?
- Why would I want to establish permanent spousal support that would not cease?
- What if she only moves in with her boyfriend?
- What if she moves in with her girlfriend?
- Can we define what property is to be considered in the separation agreement?
- Can I agree to sell the house to my spouse, as part of the separation agreement?
- What if my husband agrees that I should get the house until the children are out of school?
- What if we agree that I should remain in the house until my remarriage?
- What if I want my spouse to move out of the house after a few years?