Understanding the Implications of Signing a Separation Agreement
Recently, I noticed a common theme while meeting with clients that wish to modify their Separation Agreements and it dawned on me that too often I hear, “What did I sign”? It is not uncommon for one spouse to be represented by an attorney and the other spouse to try to go it alone in order to preserve marital assets. While this is not a bad idea, a simple consultation with an attorney will allow you to fully understand what you are signing and the implications the agreement will have on the entire family moving forward.
The Hidden Risks
For example, you and your spouse agree that one of you will be responsible for paying the mortgage on the marital home and the Separation Agreement states the name of the party that will be responsible as of the date of divorce. What so many of you do not realize is that the mortgage companies and banks do not recognize the orders written in the Separation Agreement and your obligation remains unchanged with the debtor. There are additional steps that would need to be taken in order to remove your obligation, otherwise you will continue to be held responsible post divorce for those debts. This situation can result in a devastating financial situation.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
So, what can you do to prevent this from happening to you? Make an appointment with an attorney that is experienced in family law matters. At the very least, find an attorney that will review the Separation Agreement and make sure you understand exactly what you are signing and all of the future implications.
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