This is a formal way of separating from your spouse and establishes the point at which separation occurred. Agreements are less formal but still legal and are similar to a Legal Separation, they are usually used to establish the date of separation as well as detail what the issues from the marriage are. Many reasons exist as to why you would want to put things in writing, debts and ongoing obligations or property that will continue to be owned jointly is one of them as well as others. An agreement establishes in writing whatever is important so there is no break downs in communications between spouses at a later time. Another good reason to have a separation agreement is to avoid making it appear one of the parties abandoned the marriage.
You might not be emotionally ready to divorce yet or you may not have enough separation time to meet the rules of your jurisdiction. All agreements including custody agreement will help you in giving you peace of mind. It is always get to formalize what you have agreed on , instead of relying on someone's point of view to determine what you did or did not agree on. Even if you later get into a disagreement, at least you will have something in writing to enforce.
These agreements are normally considered binding at the moment you have both signed the agreements. If you need a quick result and want to formalize matters this is good way to do it.
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