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My Spouse Won’t Sign a Separation Agreement. What’s Next?

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My Spouse Won’t Sign a Separation Agreement. What’s Next?

My Spouse Won’t Sign a Separation Agreement. What’s Next?

Deciding to separate is a difficult decision that is not often taken lightly. However, this situation can be more complex if one partner does not agree to sign a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a document drafted by you and your partner or the attorneys that represent you that details how issues in your relationship. Such issues may include financial decisions, living agreements, and mechanisms of support. While separation agreements are not required for future divorce, it is often recommended since they could make the division of assets easier in the long run. However, what happens if your spouse won’t sign a separation agreement? Below are potential next steps to consider in your separation. 

What Steps to Take if Your Spouse Won’t Sign

If your spouse refuses to sign your separation agreement, there are some considerations you should take. It’s important to first consider whether your partner had much of a say in the terms of the separation agreement or not. If they did not provide their input about the terms of the agreement, it is possible that they are simply unhappy with such terms. If you and your lawyer have room to negotiate the terms of the agreement, this can prevent it from feeling one-sided. 

If the terms are sufficient, but your spouse still won’t sign the agreement, mediation may be the next step in conflict dissolution. The mediator is a third party that will act as a buffer in communication between spouses. They can help settle disputes and allow a potential agreement to be reached. If both parties cannot agree and the spouse refuses to sign the agreement, a family law attorney can assist in pushing your potential separation agreement further. 

Can You Force Your Spouse to Sign a Separation Agreement?

Coercion and manipulation are taken seriously in a court of law. If it is deemed that you had a significant influence on your spouse signing a separation agreement, it may not be enforceable in court. Thus, if you threaten your partner to sign your agreement or manipulate them in ways such as withholding access to children, the agreement can be dismissed in court. Thus, you may not force your spouse to sign a separation agreement. 

Protecting Yourself Without a Legal Separation Agreement

If a separation agreement cannot be negotiated, it’s important to protect yourself in your marriage. This is because you won’t have any legal agreement in place about how finances and life issues are managed. It is important to ensure that joint bills are still paid during your separation period, as your partner may decide not to contribute to them during the separation. Further, a spouse may spend additional money knowing that a divorce is impending. To protect yourself from financial ruin in your separation, it’s important to get your bills and tax records in order, keep track of your expenses and debts, and manage your credit score. 

Work With a Divorce Attorney

Separation agreements can be tricky to negotiate, especially if one party is less open to the idea of separation than the other. If this happens, having an experienced negotiator on your side could benefit you. The attorneys at SAM LAW OFFICE LLC have the knowledge to handle complex separation agreements and will always strive to maintain your best interests. To talk to our knowledgeable lawyers today, contact us and discuss how we can help you through your separation. 

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