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A separating couple may use a separation agreement to divide property, provide for alimony and child support, and/or establish parenting time without divorcing. [Click the links for more information on these topics.]
Separation agreements must meet specific requirements for the court to consider them valid and enforceable. For example, any agreement must be mutual, in writing, and acknowledged (usually by signature) by both separating spouses. It must also be recorded in the office of the county recorder.
Separation leading to Divorce . . .
Although the court allows couples to have separation agreements, the terms of the agreements may be changed at the court’s discretion if the separation leads to a divorce. For example, the court will not include in the final divorce decree any terms from a separation agreement that the judge finds are not just, equitable, and compatible with public policy.
If a couple is separating, it is important that any agreement between them fits all of these requirements.
Make a valid separation agreement now to save time and money later.
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