Use of Separation Agreements and Legal Advice

When negotiating a separation agreement, it is important to include all benefits that an employee will be owed upon separation. This can include unused vacation days, sick time, commissions, bonuses, deferred compensation, and unreimbursed business expenses. In some cases, an employee will also be entitled to receive a severance package or mitigation offset. These clauses should be clearly spelled out in the separation agreement.

A separation agreement may be formal or informal, but it should always be in writing. It will help speed up the divorce process, avoid legal wrangling, and lower the cost of the proceedings. In addition, separation agreements can also be used as proof of the date of the separation and as the basis for dividing assets.

Although a separation agreement is a legally binding document, it is vital that both parties have independent legal advice. This is particularly important if your separation is causing problems between you, or if your ex has become abusive or intimidating. It is vital that you have a solicitor review the agreement and ensure that the terms are fair to both parties.

If a separation agreement is offered, it is important to look at it closely and ensure that the employee is fully aware of the terms. A separation agreement should also address any stock options and the right to exercise them. For example, if an employee has been offered stock options and has been working with the company for several years, he or she should negotiate with the employer to accelerate vesting.

Separation agreements can be enforced by a lawsuit if a party violates the terms of the agreement. The remedies available in a lawsuit for breach of an agreement include money damages, injunctions, and specific performance. However, an unincorporated separation agreement is not subject to contempt of court. In contrast, a court can issue a writ for contempt of court if a party fails to comply with a court order.

Separation agreements can also be used as the basis for a divorce. However, it is important to note that they are not binding unless both parties sign it. If a marriage is over and a separation agreement is not in place, the judge may use it to decide which party will receive the children. If this is the case, it is a good idea to seek counseling and ensure that your separation is fair.

The parties can also choose to use a separation agreement to divide the remaining assets and rent from a tenancy. These agreements may be a good option for these couples because it avoids the expense of full financial disclosure during a separation. Further, they can be used as the basis for a financial consent order in a divorce.

A separation agreement may be mediated by a mediator or an attorney. However, it is important to consult with an attorney to ensure that you understand the terms of the separation agreement. Moreover, the mediator is an impartial third-party that provides legal advice without acting as a litigator.