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|Home > Practice Areas > Separation and Property Settlement Agreements
Do I Need a Separation Agreement?|
In Virginia, you do not need to have a signed Separation Agreement to be legally separated. You are separated by virtue of living separate and apart from your spouse without any cohabitation. However, you should always seek the advice of an attorney before you separate from your spouse, to make sure you are protecting your interests. If you leave the marital home without first entering into a Separation Agreement, you could be charged with desertion by your spouse.
Should I Sign the Agreement?
You should never sign an Agreement just to get your spouse to leave the house, or just so your spouse will let you go. It is extremely difficult for an attorney to have any Agreement that has been signed by both parties later set aside. If you have been presented with an Agreement to sign, consult with an attorney at Cole Miller PLLC right away. You need to make sure that you are not waiving important rights. If you and your spouse are agreeing to separate and have a good idea as to how you want to divide your property and address other issues, you should have a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement prepared by an attorney. Cole Miller PLLC can assist you with this.
What If I Don’t Like the Agreement I Signed?
A court will not set aside an Agreement just because one party decides they made a bad deal or isn’t happy with the Agreement. You will be bound by any Agreement you sign, if it is a valid contract. There are grounds for setting aside a contract, such as when fraud is involved. Also, issues related to custody, visitation, and child support are always subject to modification by a court, if the best interests of the child or the statutory guidelines mandate modifications. If you need help trying to the validity of an Agreement or trying to have it set aside or modified, a Cole Miller PLLC attorney can tell you what your options are in your specific case.
What is a Property Settlement Agreement?
A Property Settlement Agreement should be a comprehensive agreement resolving all issues arising out of your marriage drafted by a competent attorney for your particular case. Property Settlement Agreements are also commonly referred to as Separation Agreements in Virginia. In Virginia, if you have no minor children, as long as you have a signed Separation Agreement or Property Settlement Agreement, an agreement resolving all the issues arising out of your marriage, you are entitled to proceed with an uncontested divorce. If you have minor children and have been separated in excess of one year, if you have a signed agreement resolving all issues arising out of your marriage, you are eligible to proceed with an uncontested divorce. Entering into a Property Settlement Agreement can be a very cost-effective way to resolve the issues arising out of your marriage, but you want to make sure that it is a well drafted agreement that protects your interests. Cole Miller attorneys have many years of experience drafting Property Settlement Agreements and will help you avoid the pitfalls.
Teresa S. Cole
Michael C. Miller
Virginia C. Haizlip
Amanda Stone Swart
Camille J. DiIlio
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