Taking Action

Get Answers Start Your Divorce Stop Your Divorce Divorce Forms Online Support DivorceDesk

Divorce Tools

Online Divorce Online Negotiation Custody Tracker Custody Evaluation QDRO Preparation Divorce Calendar SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

State Resources

California Florida Illinois New York Texas SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Generate Clients Free Network Page Submit Articles Case Management Sign In

The Divorce Encyclopedia
Separation Agreement


Term Definition Separation Agreement - an agreement on support, child care and property covering the period before divorce but after separation.
Application in Divorce Same as Agreement.

Sometimes the term separation agreement describes an agreement or understanding between spouses who have separated but not yet moved toward divorce.

Sometimes the term is used in a more majoritive sense, depending upon practice and the jurisdiction, to mean the marital settlement agreement, property settlement agreement, marital agreement.

The phrase divorce agreement is normally not used because only a court can grant a divorce.

Normally, the agreement is incorporated in the final decree or judgment granting the divorce.

The agreement describes the terms and conditions for ending a marriage, and it deals with spousal and child support, insurance (health, life and disability), the family house and other real estate, cars, household items, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, bank accounts, retirement plans and pensions, bank accounts, pets, frequent flier miles, stock options, name changes, all debt, tax payments, fees for lawyers and counselors, provisions for modification, dispute resolution and the designation of a state of jurisdiction.

Separation agreements are normally interpreted by the same rules contracts are interpreted, and when they are incorporated into a divorce decree, courts construe them as contracts, not judgments. When the meaning is clear, courts do not look outside the four corners of the agreement. Evidence outside the four corners, which is called extrinsic or parol evidence, is generally not considered.

An agreement is unclear when its plain meaning cannot be understood: "An instrument is ambiguous when the language is reasonably susceptible to more than one meaning," as one court said. Moreover, an agreement may be clear but not complete.

The ideal separation agreement is clear and is complete.

See also Incorporation.

Add the Divorce Encyclopedia
to Your Website
!


The Research Center

Give Our Research Center a Try. Gain access to the same research material that lawyers often use to establish and win divorce cases. This material consists of legal journal articles and case explanation/analysis documents on a wide range of topics. If you think your situation is unique, your answers will most likely be here. In order to gain access to this area, you must establish an account, but you can search the documents before deciding.


The Divorce Source Difference

Since February 1st, 1997 (when we initially launched Divorcesource.com) we have helped millions of people contemplating or experiencing divorce. The reason we have been able to reach so many people is because we have made it a priority to listen to our customers. We have built a trust by listening and delivering what the customer needs, rather than what we think they want. This is the Divorce Source difference.


Social

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Start Your Divorce File for Divorce

 

Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Divorce

 

Track Child Custody Track Custody & Visitation

Start Your Divorce Today - Premium Divorce Online
Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site
Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"