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Separation Agreements

A separation agreement is a contract between a married couple which, at its core, grants each spouse the legal right to physically live separate and apart from the other spouse. However, separation agreements also resolve other matters between a couple, such as parenting issues (custody, access or visitation rights, primary residence of children), division of property, allocation of debts, child support, maintenance, and so forth.

After living separate and apart for one or more years after a separation agreement is properly signed and executed by the parties, either party may commence an action for divorce based upon this non-fault ground. However, the person filing for divorce must allege he or she has substantially complied with the terms of the separation agreement and, if challenged and proven that there was not substantial compliance, the divorce action can be dismissed and compliance sought by the other spouse.