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What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a contract between a husband and a wife, signed when a legal separation has been granted or when they have agreed to live apart in contemplation of a divorce. The agreement is designed to settle any property, debt, alimony, child custody, visitation, insurance, tax, and child support issues that may lie between them. The above mentioned issues are the more significant and are often at the forefront of most agreements, but each agreement is unique and can address other issues like, who will care for the family pet, or what religion the child(ren) will practice. Most divorce lawyers will be able to provide a list of issues typically addressed in a separation agreement. During the negotiating process it is essential to keep an open mind in order to reach the actual settlement.