Married couples who decide to end their marriages often file a marital separation agreement prior to their actual divorce.
According to the reference, "Marital Separation Questions," a marital separation agreement is a document that is composed by a husband and wife and sets forth terms pertaining to various matters of their marriage.
The marital separation agreement often includes decisions such as the division of property and other assets, alimony or maintenance payments, debt division, and which spouse is allowed to live in the family home.
You may enlist the aid of an attorney to help you and your spouse with the details of the agreement. According to the reference, "Filing A Marital Separation Agreement," a lawyer can help you with the various legal processes as well as whether to file the agreement in court.
A separation agreement has no specific expiration date and can last for years, according to the source, "Marital Separation Agreements." During this time, you and your former spouse can modify the agreement, provided you both agree to the modification. It can also be modified by the court unless the agreement does not allow it.
A marital separation agreement is almost always approved by the court during uncontested divorce proceedings, provided the agreement is fair and neither forcibly nor fraudulently drawn up.