Separation agreements mustbe: in writing, executed by the parties, notarized, and not expressly require divorce.
Grounds for separation
: adultery, abandonment, cruel and inhumane treatment, and any other ground for divorce PLUS failure to support.
Requirements for separation agreement
: freely and voluntarily made,* separation occurs prior to or imnmediately after execution of the agreement, and does not call for divorce or alter support obligations of spouses.
*representation by same attorney will be a significant factor in evaluating whether agreement was freely made.
: agreement will either be terminated or merged with divorce decree.
- If merged: agreement terminates and divorce decree governs. To modify, must show substantial change in circumstances.
- If not mergerd: to modify, must show extreme hardship.
Minor failures to meet terms of agreement do not nullify the agreement.