Free Marriage Separation Agreement Templates & Forms (MS Word)

In a marriage separation agreement, couples may choose not to divorce or may choose to separate for a while before filing for a divorce. A divorce can also explain as:

  • Marital settlement agreement
  • Marital separation agreement
  • Legal separation agreement
  • Divorce agreement
  • Separation Agreement

Marriage separation is in the court before divorce proceedings begin. It is important to note that the marital separation agreement can be used by married couples who want to separate some aspects of their lives but remain legally married.

Legal Separation VS Divorce

Legal separation differs from divorce in that, in a legal separation, the couple is still married and may continue to live at the same address with different responsibilities. Similarly, a divorce dissolves the marriage entirely at the same time. Nonetheless, both legal separation and divorce create a space between the couples. For instance, they live apart, assets are divided, child custody is shared, and one may be required to pay spousal support. As a couple separates, they usually use a separation agreement to determine how everything will be shared or divided as they part ways.

What is the meaning of Living Separately?

Couples may live apart for a variety of reasons. The couple may live separately, but that does not necessarily mean they live in separate houses. They may continue to live in the same house while remaining separated. The couple may still live together after separation for several reasons, including finances, work, children, school, and other significant responsibilities. Attending events separately, sleeping in different rooms/beds, eating separately, taking turns caring for children, seeing or visiting the children are a few examples of living separately. If the couple decides to live together after the legal separation, alimony or spousal support will not be deductible.

When to use separation Agreement?

Separation agreements are appropriate in three main situations. These three situations are: While a married couple is trying to resolve their issues but is not yet ready for a divorce, in this case, they create a separation agreement to outline their terms for living separately while they are separated and to divide their financial responsibilities while they are separated. A second instance occurs when a couple decides that marriage is no longer a viable option and opts for divorce. To make sure everything is handled properly and that all the items are divided fairly, the couple may consider using a separation agreement form instead of letting the courts handle the issue. By creating a mutually beneficial separation agreement, which is later submitted to the court and included in the divorce decree, the couple can save time and money in the process. Please note that the court may only use the separation agreement if it is mutually beneficial. Otherwise, the court forcefully divides everything evenly so that each couple gets their fair share. The third case is when a married couple wishes to permanently live separately, while still maintaining their legal status as spouses. In this situation, the couple may use the separation agreement to clarify their decision to live separate and separate their duties and responsibilities.

Elements of a Separation Agreement

For a separation agreement to be legally enforceable, it must include certain essential elements. These elements are:

Basic Knowledge

It should include in the marital separation agreement. It simply identifies the parties involved. The following information are:

  • The name of each party
  • The address of the couple
  • Date of marriage
  • Proof that the couple meets the residency requirements of their state
  • An explanation of why the couple separated
  • The duration of the separation

Division of Shared Responsibilities

As a rule, the court will only consider a separation agreement if both parties consider it fair. Thus, the marriage separation agreement should clearly outline how responsibilities are going to share between the couples. The agreement must specify how the following information is going to share.

The Finances

As part of the separation agreement, the financial details are clear which should include the following:

Spousal Support

Spousal support is money paid to one spouse by the other to maintain their conventional lifestyle. During a divorce, each spouse must be able to maintain their conventional lifestyle at least in part by having a fair share of the divorce proceeds. As a result, the couple may decide to share finances and help each other maintain a conventional lifestyle. Considerations for spousal support include the length of the marriage, the couple’s standard of living before separation, the health and age of both spouses, and their financial prospects in the future.

Child Support

You can outline the arrangements in the marital separation agreement. Child support can usually be a part of the separation agreement. Further, to take care of the child during a separation, it is essential to assign a fair amount of money to each parent based on their financial capabilities. In addition to maintaining the child’s lifestyle, all their expenses should cover during the separation. To avoid quarrels over child expenses, the amount, payment dates, and duration of payments should be part of the separation agreement.


A marriage separation agreement must specify how household items will divide between the spouses if the separation is permanent or if the couple divorces. This section could include the following items:

  • Home
  • Cars
  • Furniture
  • Other tangible assets

Children Responsibilities

Separation agreements should also specify who will have custody of the children during the separation. Usually, this depends on several factors, including the child’s age, current school, and other programs they are participating in. The parents may determine which party will be responsible for the child; however, the court may change that decision and establish such responsibilities in the child’s favour.

Division of Financial Obligations

The separation agreement must also outline how you will define financial obligations. Based on the spouse’s standard of living before separation, the health and age of both spouses, as well as their future financial prospects are part of this. In addition to determining who is responsible for each item in the separation agreement, mortgages, loans, bills, and taxes should be part of it.

Signatures and Notarization

The marriage separation agreement should sign by both parties and notarized before a notary public to demonstrate their acknowledgement of it and satisfaction with its contents.

Can You Write Your Separation Agreement?

You can write your separation agreement. However, the agreement must cover all essential elements and must be fair to both parties.

How long a couple can be separated?

Nonetheless, the agreement must cover all essential elements and must be fair to both parties.


A marriage separation agreement is the saddest movement in everyone’s happy life. However, we should try our best to avoid such a situation. The separation of two soul mates is not a positive sign. It should avoid in every circumstance.

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