March 28, 2017
Among couples who are about to divorce, there is often confusion as to what a Separation Agreement in Massachusetts actually is. So, . . . what is it?
A Separation Agreement is a written document that describes the terms of the divorce. Once signed, it becomes the legal document that will be used for a no-fault divorce in Massachusetts.
Some of the topics that need to be addressed, in detail, in a Separation Agreement in Massachusetts include:
Property, division of assets, life insurance, vehicles, debts and liabilities, alimony, taxes, living situation, inheritance, and health insurance. If children are involved, the Separation Agreement also needs to address a parenting plan, custody, child support, education, moving, travel, religion, and more.
For a divorce in Massachusetts, a Separation Agreement needs to be signed, notarized, and then filed with the proper Probate and Family Court Department in conjunction with other divorce documents. A Probate and Family Court judge will then review the Separation Agreement and may take various actions. The judge may approve the Separation Agreement if she or he finds it to be fair and reasonable given the circumstances. Or, the judge may ask that parts of the Separation Agreement be clarified or changed. Finally, the judge may reject the agreement if she or he is not satisfied with it and deems it unfair or unreasonable.
Once the judge is satisfied with and approves the agreement, it will become enforceable by the court.
Who can Draft a Separation Agreement in Massachusetts?
Parties to the divorce may also draft their own Separation Agreements but for those couples who want to ensure the document is drafted correctly the first time should consider consulting an expert. MWI is available at 617-895-4028 to assist or to provide a free consultation.
Separation Agreements in Massachusetts become very important documents with significant legal standing. Working with the right professional during divorce is vital to ensure that you reach informed decisions that will work for you and your spouse now and in the future.
Qualified and experienced mediators make sure that their clients create a Separation Agreement that is fair and reasonable for their unique situation. For assistance with the drafting of a Separation Agreement in Massachusetts, contact Josh Hoch at 617-895-4028.