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1. Introduction. Agreement between [name], residing at [address] (Husband), and [name], residing at [address] (Wife), dated [date], made in [county, state].
2. Date of Marriage. Husband and Wife were married in [city, state] on [date].
3. Children. There are [number] children of the marriage:
[names and birth dates]. They are the only issue of the marriage.
4. Reason for Separation Agreement. The parties are now living apart and because of irreconcilable differences between them intend to continue living apart. It is the parties' intention to enter into and abide by this Agreement that determines the financial, property, child custody and visitation rights and obligations, and other rights and obligations, which arise out of their relationship.
5. Parties Represented by Attorneys. Each of the parties has retained counsel. Husband is represented by [name], Esq., with offices at [address], and Wife is represented by [name], Esq., with offices at [address]. The parties have been advised of their legal rights and obligations, as well as the terms and legal effect of this Agreement by their own counsel. Both parties agree this Agreement is fair, equitable, just, and reasonable and fully accept its terms and conditions.
6. Parties May Live and Work as if They Were Single. The parties shall live separate and apart. Each shall be free from the other's interference and control as if he or she were single and unmarried. Each may reside where he or she desires. Each may engage in any business, profession, or employment that he or she chooses.
7. Ownership of Real and Personal Property. Each party owns the real and personal property that is now in his or her possession or is in his or her name, regardless of when acquired, free of any claim of the other. However, any personal belongings or clothing of either party that is in the other's possession shall be returned as quickly as possible.
8. Payment of and Liability for Debts. The parties' debts are listed in Schedule A [omitted]. [Name] shall pay these debts. Debts incurred by either of the parties after the date of this Agreement shall not be the other party's responsibility as long as such party complies with the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
9. Mutual Release of Claims Against Each Other. The parties mutually release and discharge each other and each other's heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns from any and all causes of action and claims that either not has against the other, by reason of their relationship as Husband and Wife, or, for any other reason, except for any cause of action or claim arising out of this Agreement or for an absolute divorce.
10. Release of Rights in Each Other's Estates. Neither party has any right to share in the estate of the other or to be appointed Executor or Administrator of the other's estate. This is a mutual waiver of each party's rights to elect to receive his or her statutory share of the other's estate.
11. Execution of Additional Documents. Each party will sign and deliver to the other any additional writing or document that is necessary to enforce or carry out the purposes of this Agreement.
12. Custody of the Children. Wife shall have sole custody of the parties children during their minority, except as provided elsewhere in this Agreement.
13. Right to Visit Children. Husband may visit the parties' children subject to the following conditions:
a. Place of Visitation. Visitation will take place away from Wife's residence.
b. Pick Up and Return Children--Regular Meals During Visitation. Husband will pick up the children at Wife's residence and will provide the children with regular meals during the visitation. Husband will return the children to Wife's residence upon the completion of visitation.
c. Limitation of Visitation. Visitation is limited to weekends, commencing at [hour] AM [time zone] on Saturday and terminating at [hour] PM [time zone] on Sunday.
d. Each Child to Be Visited at the Same Time. All rights of visitation, including vacation visitation rights, will be exercised with all the children at the same time unless unusual circumstances, such as one child's illness or absence intervene.
e. Summer and Vacation Visitation Rights. In addition to other visitation rights, Husband has the right to visit with the children for [number] consecutive weeks during the children's summer vacation, provided Husband is also on vacation and provides continuous personal supervision of the children. Husband is not to exercise the right unless he gives Wife reasonable notice and provided it does not interfere with the children's other activities during this period.
f. Noninterference With Children's Education and Religious Activities. No visitation is permitted if it will interfere with the children's education or religious activities or adversely affect the children's health or general welfare.
g. Notification of Illness or Accident. Each party will promptly notify the other of any illness, accident, or other incident affecting one or any of the children.
h. Notice of Intent Not to Visit. Husband will notify Wife if he does not intend to exercise visitation rights or will be late. The purpose of advance notification is to prevent disappointing the children.
i. Nothing to Estrange Children. Neither party will do anything to estrange the children from the other party.
j. Names of Children. The children are to continue to be known by their present given and family names.
k. Use of the Term "Father" or "Mother." The parties will not permit the children to call anyone "father" or "mother" other than the parties to this Agreement.
l. Right to Visit Confined Child or Children. If a child is confined because of serious illness or injury, the party with whom the child is confined shall allow the other to visit the child at reasonable times.
m. No Child to Be Removed From the State. No child will be taken outside of [state] by either party without the other party's prior written consent.
14. Support and Maintenance of Spouse--Fixed Sum. Husband will pay Wife for her support and maintenance the sum of ----- dollars ($----------) each month, starting [date] and continuing on the [number] day of each month, thereafter.
15. Reduction of Spouses's Support and Maintenance Payments. The amount to be paid for Wife's support and maintenance has been set at ---------- dollars ($----------) annually because Wife is not presently employed and has no income or assets other than those described in this Agreement. Should Wife become employed at an annual salary in excess of ---------- dollars ($----------) or receive annual income in excess of ---------- dollars ($----------), Husband's obligation to pay support and maintenance shall be reduced by ---------- percent (----------%) of Wife's excess annual income.
16. Termination of Support and Maintenance Payments. Payments for Wife's support and maintenance shall terminate upon the occurrence of any of the following events:
a. Death. The death of either party.
b. Remarriage. Wife's remarriage even if such marriage is annulled or terminated; or
c. Meretricious Relationship. The establishment by Wife of a relationship with a third party in which they hold themselves out to be married even though they are not or in which they maintain a single abode and openly and notoriously live together.
17. Child Support. Husband will pay to Wife in addition to the payments provided for Wife's support and maintenance, the sum of ---------- dollars ($----------) annually, per child, for the support and maintenance of each child of the marriage. The payments are to be made in equal monthly installments on the [number] day of each month, starting [date]. Wife agrees that as long as Husband makes the foregoing payments on a timely basis, he shall be entitled to the income tax exemption for dependents for each of the children.
18. Children's Medical and Dental Expenses. The payments by Husband to Wife for the children's support and maintenance do not include the cost of the children's medical and dental care. These are Husband's obligations, and Wife will cause all bills from physicians, dentists, and other health care professionals and facilities to be sent to Husband. Wife will notify and consult with Husband before a child enters into elective medical or dental treatment, such as plastic surgery or orthodontia.
19. Costs of Children's Education. The payments by Husband to Wife for the children's support do not include tuition payments to private schools or to colleges, universities, professional schools, or trade schools. Tuition payments of this nature shall be made by Husband, provided Wife consults with Husband before a child enrolls or is enrolled in a school and the parties mutually agree upon the advisability of the child's attendance at such school.
20. Termination of Child Support. Payments for the support of a child of the marriage shall terminate upon the occurrence of any of the following events:
a. Reaching Majority. The child reaches the age of [number] years, provided the child is not in full-time attendance in a college, graduate school, or professional or trade school;
b. Completion of Education. The child completes his or her college education, including graduate or professional school, or completes his or her trade school course;
c. Marriage. The child marries, even though the marriage is later annulled or terminated;
d. Permanent Residence. The child establishes a permanent residence away from Wife's residence, provided the residence was not established to attend school or because of active military service;
e. Death. The child or Husband dies; or
f. Full-Time Employment. The child obtains full-time employment, provided such employment is not engaged in only during school vacations or summer recesses. If the full-time employment terminates before the child reaches the age of [number] years, child support payments shall resume.
21. Method of Payment of Support and Maintenance. All payments of support and maintenance for the spouse and children of the marriage shall be by cash, money order, bank check, or certified check only. When payment is made by mail, the envelope containing the payment shall be posted at least [number] days prior to the date on which the payment is due, addressed to Wife at the address given above or such other address as she may advise Husband of, in writing, from time to time.
22. Adequacy of Support and Maintenance Payments. Wife acknowledges that the support and maintenance payments provided for her and those provided for the children are adequate and in keeping with the living standards maintained by the parties immediately prior to the date of this Agreement.
23. Transfer of Marital Residence to Wife. The parties presently own as tenants by the entirely the real properly known as [street address, town, state]. Husband will convey his interest in the property to Wife by quitclaim deed simultaneously with the execution of this Agreement. In addition, Husband will transfer to Wife the fixtures, furnishings, and personal property listed on Exhibit B [omitted], attached to this Agreement.
23. Disposition of Marital Residence. The parties presently own as tenants by the entirely the real property known as [street address, town, state]. Wife shall have the exclusive use and occupancy of these premises until the occurrence of any of the following events:
a. Vacating Premises. Wife leaves the premises and sets up a permanent abode elsewhere;
b. Remarriage. Wife remarries even though the subsequent marriage is annulled or terminated.
c. Meretricious Relationship. Wife establishes a relationship with a third party in which they hold themselves out to be married even though they are not or in which they maintain a single abode and openly and notoriously live together; or
d. Emancipation of Children. All the children of the marriage are emancipated.
Husband will not institute any action for partition of the premises or any other litigation that would or could terminate Wife's occupancy. Upon termination of Wife's occupancy in accordance with the provisions of this Paragraph, the parties will sell the premises upon the best terms possible. The proceeds of the sale will be distributed in the following order:
a. Payment of the expenses and costs of the sale, including attorney fees and broker's commissions;
b. Repayment to Husband for carrying charges (including principal and interest), taxes, insurance, and repairs during Wife's occupancy;
c. ---------- dollars ($----------) to Husband as a repayment of his contribution to the parties' equity in the property; and
d. The balance divided equally between the parties.
24. Maintenance of Life Insurance. Husband will maintain in full force and effect the policies of life insurance insuring his life listed in Exhibit C [omitted], attached to this Agreement. Husband will maintain Wife as beneficiary of these policies as long as he is obligated to make support and maintenance payment to Wife. The children of the marriage will be maintained as contingent beneficiaries, or prime beneficiaries if Wife is removed as prime beneficiary, of the policies with equal interests as long as Husband is obligated to make payments for any of the children's support. Husband will have possession of the policies and will deliver to Wife proof of timely payment of all premiums when made. Husband represents that he has not pledged, hypothecated, or encumbered any of the policies and will do nothing to impair their full value.
25. Income Tax Returns. The parties will sign and file joint federal, state, and local income tax returns for the year [year]. Any tax due shall be paid by [name], and any refund shall be [name]'s sole property. [Name] agrees to hold [name] harmless from any losses suffered as a result of additional assessments of tax, fines, or penalties arising out of audits of any income tax return signed jointly by both parties at any time prior to the date of this Agreement.
26. Right to Sue for Divorce--Incorporation of Separation Agreement in Divorce Decree. Neither party shall be precluded from obtaining a divorce. If a divorce action is brought by either party, this Agreement may be offered into evidence and may be incorporated in any decree or judgment, but this Agreement shall survive and not be merged into such decree or judgment.
27. Modification of Agreement--Effect of Waiver. This Agreement or any part of it cannot be amended or modified except by an agreement in writing, executed with the same formality as this Agreement. Any waiver by either party of a breach of any provision of this Agreement will not prevent that party from enforcing the provision thereafter. The failure of either party to insist upon the strict performance by the other party will not be construed as a future waiver or relinquishment of any such term or provision.
28. Illegality or Invalidity of Part of Agreement. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be illegal or invalid, such holding shall not affect the other provisions, all of which shall continue in full force and effect.
29. Law Governing Agreement. This Agreement shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of [state].
30. Entire Understanding. This Agreement constitutes the parties entire understanding. They acknowledge that there have been and are no representations, warranties, covenants, or understandings other than those expressly provided in this Agreement. This Agreement is binding upon the parties' heirs, assigns, executors, and administrators.
31. Filing of Agreement With Public Official. This Agreement or a Memorandum of this Agreement may be filed by either party with the Clerk of [county, state].
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have set their hands and seals this [date].
This Section for Notary:
STATE OF -------)
) ss: [date]
COUNTY OF ------)
On [Date] before me, [Name of Notary], notary, personally appeared [Name of Person(s) Involved], personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument.
Witness my hand and official seal.
[Name of Notary Public]
My commission expires: [date]