Separation Agreement 2023 (guide + free template)

This post covers everything you need to know about the Separation Agreement

Here you will learn;

  • what is a separation agreement
  • why do you need a separation agreement
  • When do you need a separation agreement?
  • How to write a valid separation agreement
  • separation agreement template
  • etc.

let’s get started

What is a separation agreement

A separation agreement is a legal document that sets out terms and conditions between husband and wife who have mutually agreed to live apart when circumstances render separation necessary but do not wish to divorce.

When you and your spouse are legally married but live apart, you are said to be separated.

Separation does not, however, mandate that each spouse moves into a separate home.

See also: Petition of divorce (guide + template)

Why do you need a separation agreement?

Did you know that Almost 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation? (source)

A separation agreement will help you pursue a separation order from the court and legally change your marital status from being married to being separated.

The separation agreement will help you set terms and conditions and handle your assets and responsibilities while you are separated

The ‘separated’ status may be temporary or permanent.

Some separated couples eventually get back together, while others stay apart permanently.

The separation of spouses is sometimes the first step toward divorce.

You can file your Separation Agreement to the proper court before the divorce proceedings if you and your spouse decide to get a divorce.

When finalizing the divorce order, the supervising judge could in some circumstances take the provisions of your agreement into account.

When do you need a separation agreement?

The following are the circumstances that will demand a separation agreement;

  • When you and your husband are separated and deciding whether to stay together or not
  • when you and your partner have separated and you intend to get divorced
  • when you want to legally separate permanently, but maintain your legal marital status

How to write a valid separation agreement

To write a legally accepted separation agreement you have to clearly outline the terms and conditions of the separation so that each spouse is aware of what they are signing.

To be enforceable your agreement must comply with the separation law of your state.

The following are the things that you should write in your separation agreement 

  1. Title of the document i.e SEPARATION AGREEMENT, In-house Separation Agreement, Temporary Separation Agreement, etc.
  2. Date of the agreement
  3. the names and addresses of the spouses
  4. Child custody, access, and visitation.
  5. Spousal support/maintenance
  6. Child support/maintenance
  7. Division of debts
  8. Division of property
  9. Include what will happen with benefits like their pension, IRA, 401(k), and other retirement plans
  10. Include what will happen with taxes during the annual filing.
  11. signatures of the spouses

Separation Agreement Template

The following is the sample deed of separation.

SEPARATION AGREEMENT

THIS SEPARATION AGREEMENT is made this ……… day of …………, …………..

BETWEEN

……………………………… OF …………….., ……………… (hereinafter called the “HUSBAND” of the ONE PART

AND

……………………………… OF ………………. ………………. (hereinafter called the “WIFE”) of the other part.

WHEREAS unhappy differences have arisen between the HUSBAND and WIFE who were married on [date] and they have mutually agreed to live apart from each other and to enter the arrangement hereinafter contained.

HUSBAND and WIFE have made a complete, fair, and accurate disclosure to each other of all financial matters affecting this agreement.

 HUSBAND and WIFE have each been advised and counseled by attorneys of their choosing regarding their legal rights as related to this agreement.

This agreement is intended to be a final disposition of the matters addressed herein and may be used as evidence and incorporated into a final decree of divorce or dissolution.

Should a dispute arise regarding the enforcement of this agreement, the prevailing party will be entitled to reasonable costs and attorney’s fees.

AND WHEREAS the HUSBAND has by the WIFE three children namely:

  1. ……………………………………………………….
  2. ………………………………………………………..
  3. ………………………………………………………..

NOW THIS AGREEMENT WITNESSES and the parties hereto mutually agree as follows:

The wife may at any time hereinafter live separate and apart from the husband in all respects free from the control and authority of the husband.

That the HUSBAND who accepts the responsibility for the breakdown of the marriage shall be responsible for the institution and costs of the matrimonial proceedings for divorce.

That the HUSBAND undertakes to immediately hand over to the WIFE her share of the matrimonial property which by consent of both parties, the share of the WIFE’S matrimonial property is as follows:

  1. ………………………………………………………, ………………
  2. ………………………………………………………., ………………
  3. ………………………………………………………., ……………….
  4. ………………………………………………………., ……………….
  5. ………………………………………………………., ……………….
  6. ………………………………………………………., ………………..
  7. ………………………………………………………., ………………..
  8.  ………………………………………………………., ………………..
  9. ………………………………………………………., ………………..

That although the ……………………………….. (item (f) in the list in paragraph 3 hereinabove) shall remain in the possession of the WIFE, the HUSBAND undertakes to complete payments of the purchase price as the said property was purchased on the credit terms.

That in the event the HUSBAND defaults payments in respect of the …………………………… to in the foregoing paragraph and the vehicle is attached or seized the HUSBAND shall pay the WIFE USD………………… which was the original purchase price of the vehicle.

That handover of the property and payment of cash as listed in paragraph 3 hereinabove shall be made by the HUSBAND to the WIFE prior to any proposed marriage of the HUSBAND to any other woman of his choice

That in the event, the HUSBAND default on the undertakings made hereinabove the WIFE shall be entitled to lodge a caveat and or stop any such proposed marriage.

That at the process, the HUSBAND fulfills the undertakings made hereinabove the WIFE shall be entitled to lodge a caveat and or stop any such proposed marriage.

That upon fulfillment of all covenants herein, neither of them, the HUSBAND, and the WIFE shall not molest or interfere with the other nor will bring a suit for restitution of conjugal rights against the other.

That the children shall be at liberty to stay at the place of abode of any of their parents and the HUSBAND and the WIFE as the case may be shall allow access and communication with the children to the other party at all convenient and reasonable times.

This Agreement shall be construed and governed in accordance with the laws of the State of _____.

The parties agree that in the event it shall become necessary to enforce this agreement or any term hereof, the parties shall first attempt to mediate the issue with a certified mediator to be mutually agreeable to each.

In the event that the parties are unable to mediate the issue, either party shall thereafter be free to seek the enforcement of this Agreement in the applicable court of competent jurisdiction.

This AGREEMENT shall be revoked upon obtaining a divorce decree by the HUSBAND which incorporates the contents of this deed by the death of either party.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties have signed this DEED on the date first hereinbefore mentioned.

HUSBAND’s Signature: ________________________ Date: ______________

WIFE’s Signature: ________________________ Date: ______________

Signed in the presence of:

First Witness

First Witness Signature (date)

First Witness Name

First Witness Address

First Witness City, State, and Zip Code

Second Witness

Second Witness Signature (date)

Second Witness Name

Second Witness Address

Second Witness City, State, and Zip Code

THE STATE OF……

COUNT OF……….

Notary Public

On this ________________, before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public for said State, personally appeared A, personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual whose name is subscribed to the within the instrument and acknowledged to me that he executed the same in his capacity and that his signature on the instrument, the individual, or person upon behalf of which the individual acted, executed the instrument.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.

_________________

(NOTARY SIGNATURE)

My Commission Expires: _________________

THE STATE OF……

COUNT OF……….

Notary Public

On this ________________, before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public for said State, personally appeared A, personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual whose name is subscribed to the within the instrument and acknowledged to me that he executed the same in his capacity and that his signature on the instrument, the individual, or person upon behalf of which the individual acted, executed the instrument.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.

_________________

(NOTARY SIGNATURE)

My Commission Expires: _________________

Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of sherianajamii.com. Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion