Difference between Separation Agreement and Divorce Decree

Are you in the midst of a divorce or thinking about getting one? If so, you`ve probably heard the terms “separation agreement” and “divorce decree.” While these two terms can seem similar, they are actually very different.

A separation agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms of your separation. It typically covers things like property division, child custody and support, spousal support, and any other issues related to the separation. This agreement serves as a temporary solution while the divorce is pending and is binding on both parties.

One of the biggest benefits of having a separation agreement is that it can be created and agreed upon without the need for court intervention. This can save both time and money, and can often lead to a more amicable dissolution of the marriage.

On the other hand, a divorce decree is a legal document that is issued by a court to officially end a marriage. This decree will outline the final settlement of all issues related to the divorce, including child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. Once the divorce decree is issued, the marriage is officially dissolved, and both parties are free to move on with their lives.

It`s important to note that a separation agreement is not a divorce decree. While a separation agreement can be incorporated into a divorce decree, the two are not interchangeable. If you have a separation agreement but haven`t yet obtained a divorce decree, you are still legally married, and both parties are obligated to abide by the terms of the separation agreement.

So, which one should you get? It depends on your specific situation. If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on all issues related to the separation, a separation agreement can be a good option. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement or need the court to help divide assets or determine child custody, a divorce decree may be necessary.

In conclusion, a separation agreement and a divorce decree serve different purposes and are not interchangeable. While a separation agreement can be a good option for those who are able to come to an agreement outside of court, a divorce decree is necessary to officially end a marriage and finalize all issues related to the divorce. Regardless of which option you choose, it`s important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that your legal rights are protected during the separation process.

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