A marital separation agreement is a contract between a husband and wife who have decided to legally separate and/or live apart. The contract typically outlines property and debt division, child support and custody, insurance coverage and alimony, as well as other items of importance to one or both parties. It serves as a written agreement of the decisions both spouses agree to in the separation or divorce proceeding. In situations where neither spouses can reach an agreement, the court steps in to decide how assets are divided and child custody and support.

The separation agreement is usually presented at a hearing. A judge reviews the agreement to ensure it represents the interests of both spouses and that neither party was under duress when the agreement was created. Both spouses sign the document, and then it is notarized. While separation agreements are binding, they don’t necessarily mean a divorce is imminent.

You don’t have to retain an attorney to draw up a separation agreement, but it would beneficial for both spouses if one was retained. Marital separation often comes with high emotions that can make it hard to maintain objectivity. A qualified Colorado divorce attorney can ease some of the stress and make the process go smoother. The attorney can also make sure you don’t miss any important items, such as death benefits or pension payments that may be overlooked during what is usually an emotionally and mentally draining time. Unless you are well versed in divorce laws, you should consider enlisting the aid of an experienced Colorado divorce attorney who can advise you on what is permissible in your separation agreement in the state of Colorado.