When you and your spouse are considering divorce but have decided to separate in the meantime, you might wonder if you need to establish a formal separation agreement. A separation agreement is important for many reasons.
Understanding the benefits of a separation agreement can help you decide if it is right for you.
Sets clear expectations for both of you
A separation agreement makes it clear who is responsible for what while you and your spouse are apart and until you reach a formal divorce settlement. This separation agreement includes details such as spousal support, debt payment obligations and asset ownership.
Provides legal protections
When you have a legal separation agreement, you have a defense against legal obligations due to your ex’s behavior. If your ex is liable for an accident after your separation, for example, you have no financial obligation if you have a legal separation agreement.
Defines child custody
Many schools and extracurricular programs will expect a signed separation agreement detailing custody of your children if you and your spouse are no longer together. This proves that you have the legal authority to sign your children up for classes or programs without your spouse’s signature.
Starts the legal countdown
A separation agreement in Hawaii starts the clock on your waiting period, if applicable in your situation. This gives you and your spouse time to decide on or pursue a divorce.
Separation agreements are important for protecting your legal interests when you and your spouse are no longer together. Do not risk financial or custodial issues by neglecting these documents.