A separation agreement (also called a Marital Separation Agreement) is a legally binding contract that two people who are married create to formalize the terms of their separation.  As such, it is governed by the law of contract, so failure by either party to honour its terms can result in claims of breach of contract.

The separation agreement lays out each partner’s rights regarding various issues, most notably: property division, child access and custody rights, child and spousal support, and other financial matters. Although a separation agreement isn’t required by law to be in writing, it’s recommended to document it in writing as any separation agreements made verbally are hard to prove in court. Separation agreements will be respected by the courts as long as they are deemed fair, reasonable and properly executed.