Separation Agreements are legally binding contracts that parties enter into to resolve all outstanding marital issues. Once a Separation Agreement has been fully executed by both parties, the terms of the agreement are typically non-modifiable by the Court with the exception of all issues relating to minor children. These issues are always modifiable by the Court upon showing a material change in circumstances warranting a modification. Most Separation Agreements contain a reconciliation clause meaning that they are still enforceable even if the parties reconcile.
The benefit to resolving issues by way of a Separation Agreement is that the divorce becomes uncontested and can occur quickly after the grounds for divorce are ready for filing. Another benefit to a Separation Agreement is that the costs associated with the preparation of a Separation Agreement are substantially less than filing for a contested divorce. The downside to a Separation Agreement is that they are legally enforceable whether you choose to have the benefit of an attorney or sign the agreement without any legal advice. Therefore, you should always seek the advice of an attorney prior to signing any agreement.