A marital separation agreement may be drawn before or after you have filed for divorce even while you and your spouse are still living together. If you have no marital property, no joint debts, and no children, you probably don't need a marital separation agreement to get a no-fault divorce.
When you initially execute a marital separation agreement you usually do not have to file the separation agreement with the court to be effective. However, if you want to provide for the future governance of your relationship, as well as provide additional evidence to the court about the day that you separated, you should have a Marital Settlement Agreement.
Uncontested divorces fall into two categories - (1) Consent Divorces - the parties agree on all major issues; and (2) Default causes - where the respondent fails to appear to contest the divorce or any issue in it, either because he or she chooses not to oppose it, or because he or she cannot be located.
By entering into a Marital Settlement Agreement you make your divorce an uncontested divorce. How long are the parties bound by a Marital Settlement Agreement?
The typical separation agreement, or a stipulation of settlement resolving a divorce should state whether the agreement is to survive the judgment of divorce as a separate contract, or whether it should be merged and incorporated into the judgment of divorce thus allowing for modification similar to a court order. Where it Does Not Matter Your decision will have no effect on the issue of custody and visitation because these issues can be modified until a child reaches the age of 18.
This includes rights in pension and profit-sharing plans. Real estate that is in both names is considered marital property.
2) Child Support - If the agreement on divorce merges into the judgment, then the court may modify that support upward or downward when a change of circumstances may warrant modification.
On the other hand, if the agreement survives the judgment, then the standard for upward modification is an unforeseen and unanticipated change of circumstances that would warrant an increase in support.
However, a request for a downward modification in support is significantly harder to prove, and becomes something to think about when deciding whether or not to elect this option.
3) Right to Sue - If the agreement survives as a separate contract, then even if the judgment is modified by the court, the other party can sue under contract law to enforce the contract obligation and obtain a money judgment for what is owing and seek to collect it.