WHAT IS A SEPARATION AGREEMENT?
A separation agreement controls the relationship with your spouse until there are grounds for an uncontested, no-fault divorce. Once we reach final draft, we send an original and two copies to you and you make arrangements for you and your spouse to sign all three before a Notary Public, each of you keeping one and returning the third to this office. We will then have it made part of the final divorce decree when you have lived apart for the required period of time. As part of the decree, it is enforceable as a court order if either of you ever violate the agreement. If you have children under eighteen years of age, you must wait a year after you and your spouse physically separate to have grounds for a no-fault divorce. If you have no children, or your children are adults, once you and your spouse sign the agreement, the wait is only six (6) months. Without an agreement, the wait is one year.
WHAT DOES A SEPARATION AGREEMENT CONTAIN?
You and your spouse agree to allow each other to live your lives as if you are already divorced. It provides that each of you are responsible for your own debts, or sets forth your agreement of how any joint debt will be paid, and who will pay it. You give up your right to share in each other's estate if either of you die before you are divorced. It sets forth your agreement on custody, visitation and support of the children. It defines who gets which motor vehicle and takes responsibility for paying off any bank holding the title. The agreement decides whether you will place the jointly-owned marital residence on the local real estate market and how you will split the proceeds, or if one or the other of you will buy out the other and/or get full title to the property by divorce deed, whether there is a buyout or not. The agreement deals with any division of your retirement, investment and bank accounts. You agree on how to file federal and state income tax returns. In short, the agreement resolves all issues of the end of your marriage.
WHAT DOES A SEPARATION AGREEMENT COST?
It depends. If you need to hire an attorney to negotiate an agreement, the cost may run anywhere from $1500 to $5000. Keep in mind that most attorneys charge at least $250 an hour and many as high as $525. Remember that your spouse will be paying the same rate to another lawyer. In short, it greatly benefits both of you to reach an agreement. If you can agree, we can prepare and agreement costing from $150 to $500, depending on the complexity of the agreement. The cost of the agreement is reasonable because we do not advise you of your rights before you sign it and we do not negotiate the terms of the agreement with another lawyer. Also, you, as the client, do the "heavy lifting", so to speak, because you deal directly with your spouse, in terms at arriving at a final draft and circulating it for signing to your spouse.
HOW DO I GET A SEPARATION AGREEMENT?
Click here and initial the retainer letter, fill out all the information on the questionnaire and submit it to us. We will email a PayPal invoice for the cost of the proposed agreement, and may ask you to supply us with real estate and other documents, answer any questions and/or clarify your answers on the questionnaire by separate email. OR contact us at email@example.com or call us at 540-943-0932 and ask that we mail the separation agreement package. Complete the package, snail mail or email it to us, and we will give you a quote by letter or email, and again may ask you to supply us with real estate and other documents, answer any questions and/or clarify your answers on the questionnaire. Our USPS address is Bruce K. Tyler, P.C., 129 Afton Depot Lane, Afton VA 22920. Once you have paid us and supplied us with what we need, we will email or snail mail you a draft of the agreement to review with your spouse and quickly arrive at the final draft to be signed by you and your spouse and presented to the Court for incorporation into your final divorce decree.