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Can he file the separation agreement without my signature?

June 28, 2018

A separation agreement within marriage also goes by the name of property settlement agreement. This is a written-out contract that divides the property and establishes the two parties’ rights. It also settles pressing family issues like custody of the kids and alimony, commonly known as “child support.” People can draw up such a separation agreement either before or after filing for a divorce. These can even be created while the two parties still dwell together under the one roof.

Why Marital Separation Agreements Are Critical

There would not be a need for a marital separation agreement if a couple had neither children nor marital property and assets or debts. This would allow for the far simpler no-fault divorce settlement instead where both parties simply walk away clean. Yet for those who wish for a document to govern the future terms of the relationship and separation and to offer more evidence for the court on why the separation happened in the first place, they are useful. These agreements make it crystal clear as to what the sordid details were surrounding the dissolution of a marriage. A written contract is always superior to a verbal agreement.

Is It Necessary to File A Marital Separation Agreement with the Court?

It is not necessary to file this separation agreement with the court of jurisdiction in order for it to have effect. This is generally attached to the divorce filing complaint and the court petitioned to include the agreement in the final judicial decree. It becomes its own court order if the court incorporates this agreement.

Not incorporated, it is merely a contract between the two parties which would then require a stand alone lawsuit in order to enforce. It is still possible to seek financial damages later for a violation of the agreement, even if the separation does not become incorporated into a resulting divorce decree. Needless to say, it is both simpler and quicker to have the separation agreement legally incorporated within the final divorce decree of the court for the future protection of all parties— husband, wife, and kids.

Is There A Time Limit on the Effectiveness of the Separation Agreement?

Separation agreements are actually legal documents that bind. They remain legitimate for many years. The document will decide obligations, rights, and responsibilities that remain from the end of the marriage.

It is also possible for the two spouses to amend the original agreement if both consent to any and all changes. A court order might also successfully modify it (unless the agreement originally says no modifications of the court are possible). The courts can always intervene where custody and care of the minor-aged kids are concerned however.

Can he file for a separation without my signature?

Now that an understanding of separation agreements has been established, we come to the heart of the question. If the husband has engaged a lawyer and prepared to file separation papers but does not have the wife’s signature, is he able to go ahead and file the separation agreement without this expressed legal consent?

The short answer is no. Separation agreements are legally binding contracts that require two parties to execute them in order for them to take effect. Yet the man could file for a no-fault divorce without his wife’s consent. This could be contested at least for a time by the wife. In the end though, a judge would decide if either a separation or divorce would be given out when one party refused to participate. Usually, such a grounds-for-divorce trial proves to be a tremendous waste of both parties’ financial resources and time. Saving a marriage that one party is determined to end is next to impossible to accomplish, sadly.

Can a legal separation be withdrawn should a couple decide to reconcile?

It is also important to understand the legal rights of a couple should they reconcile and wish to withdraw said executed separation agreement. This can be done if a court has not yet granted the separation agreement. In this case, it is only a matter of simply withdrawing the relevant paperwork to close out the case.

Can My husband enforce a separation agreement to which I did not consent?

The husband may threaten to involve the police where visitation rights are concerned after the court has granted a separation agreement. Since the court itself approved the agreement and then issued an order, it became legally binding and enforceable by the police if necessary. If such an agreement was not approved by the court, then it is not legally enforceable by the police.

Can My husband make me leave our apartment if we file the separation agreement?

This is tricky, but it all comes down to whose name or names are on the apartment lease. If the lease is actually in both names, then both parties jointly possess the legal right to live there. In only his name, he would have legal authority to ask or force the wife to leave. In the woman’s name, the lease would give her the right to remain, and she might instead ask him to go. This should be addressed either in the original separation agreement or through the final divorce proceedings and court orders to prevent a potentially emotional melt down that possibly leads to an unnecessary family tragedy.

Am I required to sign the legal separation in order for me to move out with our kids?

The simple answer is: no, a party is not required to file a legal separation in order to move out of the family house or apartment. They can physically separate with or without involvement of the courts. To have an official document, the parties would need to file a custody order with the family court.

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