Draft a Separation Agreement in MA

Standardized Legal Documents Draft a Separation Agreement in MA

Separation Agreement in MA 101

To separate from your spouse in Massachusetts, you can’t go through a legal separation per se. You can draw up a separation agreement and live separately from your spouse.

Drafting any legal documents, especially in a difficult situation like this one, can be overwhelming. Whether you decide to hire a lawyer, download a template, or write it by yourself, this article will walk you through the separation agreement in MA.

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Massachusetts Separation Agreement Explained

Whether you’d like to separate and not divorce for personal, financial, or religious reasons, you can enter into a separation agreement with your spouse.

A separation agreement is a document between spouses stipulating the terms of your separation. You don’t have to file it with the court before living apart, but it could be difficult to enforce it if you and your spouse can’t see eye to eye on every term of the agreement.

Is a Separation Agreement Legally Binding?

A separation agreement becomes enforceable once both parties sign it willingly and file it with the court. Once it’s filed, the judge decides whether to approve it, that is, whether it’s fair and reasonable for both parties. The judge signs the agreement and makes it a court order.

What Should a MA Separation Agreement Cover?

If you have a prenuptial agreement, some terms and clauses may already be agreed on between you and your spouse. Typical clauses that a separation agreement includes are the following:

What To Include

Key Details

Details about the coupleFull names and addresses
Separation info
  • Statement that both parties seek to live separately
  • Established date of separation

Division of property

  • Identification of assets
  1. Personal property
  2. Real property
  3. Tangible property
  4. Intangible property
  • Allocation of the assets
  • Confirmation of property as separate
  • Custody and parenting plan
  • Visitation
  • Parenting responsibilities
  • Educational and other costs
Child support
  • Outline of the child support request
  • Child support changes in the future
Debt allocation
  • Loan payments
  • Credit card debt
  • Car and other payments
  • Tax refund division
  • Establishment of the filing status
Health insuranceAny changes in the insurance policy of both spouses
Additional clauses
  • Alimony
  • Other types of marital support
  • Life insurance

What Is Separate Support in Massachusetts?

While married couples in Massachusetts don’t need the court’s permission to live apart, you may need additional help during your separation. You can receive separate support in the following situations:

  1. You are abandoned by your spouse
  2. Your spouse fails to support you without a justifiable cause
  3. One spouse has a justifiable cause to live apart from the other
  4. Spouses have a breakdown in communication and cannot live together anymore

Besides having the legal grounds for filing for separate support with the court, you have to be a legal resident of Massachusetts.

The process is similar to divorce. Once you file a petition for separate support and maintenance, the judge will devise or assist in making marital support and a parenting plan and issue a court order for separation.

During a separate support case, numerous issues will be decided, regardless of whether your separation agreement covers them or not. You’ll get a chance to present evidence, and if you can’t agree on a point with your spouse, the judge will decide in your stead.

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Need Guidance With Other Agreements? We Can Help!

Much like walking you through separation agreements, we can give you the lowdown on many other types of documents, such as:

If you are the person moving out from your marital home, we can help you with various real estate agreements, including:

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