A separation agreement is a legally binding contract which sets out the terms upon which spouses wish to live separately. Issues such as asset division, custody of and access to children, spousal and child maintenance can be included in a separation agreement.
A fundamental provision of every separation agreement is an agreement that the parties will live apart. It is also common to include a 'non-molestation clause' which means that neither spouse will 'molest, annoy, disturb, or interfere with the other'. Further, most separation agreements contain a detailed indemnification clause, which indemnifies both spouses from all future debts which are incurred by either of them.
A separation agreement does not act as a bar to divorce. The Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 merely requires the court, in determining what provision should be made for spouses and dependent children in divorce proceedings, to have regard to the terms of any separation agreement which has been entered into by the spouses and is still in force.
If you require advice regarding a separation or if you have a general family law query; contact us to arrange a consultation.