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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Severability


Term Definition Severability - the understanding that one clause in a contract or instrument is independent of the others.
Application in Divorce Severability applies in divorce in the distribution of property. For example, when a husband and wife -- who normally own a home as joint tenants by the entirety -- decide to retain it as joint owners, they now, by severability and operation of law, own it as tenants in common.

The term also finds application to any destruction of joint tenancy because the estate is no longer a joint tenancy.

Marital settlement agreements normally contain a severability clause, so that if a court finds one clause of the agreement invalid, the remainder of the agreement remains in force.

Sometimes severability is called a savings clause.

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