A separation property settlement agreement resolves as many issues relating to the dissolution of a marriage as the parties can agree to. The agreement is a contract between a married couple who is legally separated but not yet fully divorced. When it is signed by both parties it is fully executed and effective. A fully executed version of the Property Settlement Agreement will become part of the Final Divorce Decree. The provisions in the agreement are valid indefinitely, unless both parties agree to change the terms.
The property settlement agreement will include the names of the parties and a stipulation that they have lived separate and apart from a specified date. The agreement will go on to state the specifics of the agreed-upon terms. It should be signed, dated, and notarised.
A property settlement agreement should include all of the topics that the parties have agreed upon and specifics on how those topics have been settled. Topics should include child custody and visitation, spousal support, medical insurance, furniture and belongings, personal property, pensions/retirement/401K plans, and real property.
Freedom from Interference
The agreement may also contain a provision that states that each party "shall be free from interference, authority or control of the other as fully as though each were unmarried" (Legal Services of Northern Virginia: Property Settlement Agreement). This means that the parties are free to do whatever they chose, without having to consult with each other. This includes business ventures, residences, and associates. It may also explicitly state that the parties cannot harass each other at their residence, place of employment or anywhere else.
Waiver of Interest
The parties may also agree to waive any interest in property not specifically provided for in the agreement and any interest in each other's estate. Generally, if a spouse dies, the estate goes to the surviving spouse. In the case of a couple legally separated but not divorced, without such a provision, the estate would still go to the surviving spouse. This waiver precludes this from occurring.
There should also be a provision that absolves each party of future responsibility for debts or obligations entered by the other party.
The agreement may also include a provision that states that if a party violates the agreement, the other party may seek legal recourse and the offending party will be responsible for all legal fees associated with enforcement. The agreement should specify the governing law of the agreement for the state where it is executed.
The agreement should specify that any modification to the agreement should be made in writing, signed by both parties to the agreement. The agreement should also state that it is entered into on the understanding that both parties have fully disclosed all property and interest.
Incorporation into Divorce
The agreement should include a provision that states that the agreement will be presented to the Court during the divorce proceedings and be incorporated into the Final Divorce Decree.
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