Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Separation Agreement

Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Separation Agreement

Separation agreements can be created by many different methods. Many are able to be done by the couple themselves without any outside help. This certainly makes the process seem simpler. After all, who wants to spend all their time sitting in a divorce lawyer’s office? However, creating separation agreements without an attorney is not always as simple as it might seem. There are several aspects of the agreement that attorneys are able to help couples understand. Without them, couples might become lost and enter into an agreement that neither one will be happy with. Hiring an attorney for a separation agreement is the best option for your divorce.

Drafting Agreements

Drafting the separation agreement is an area that attorneys specialize in. When couples try to create their own divorce agreement, many will use a template found on the internet. This is not terrible, but it is not the best method either. Templates from the internet will usually be generic. They also might not reflect the laws of the state that the couple is living in. Couples working without outside help on agreements might also try to move through the process too quickly. They can become caught up in the prospect of ending the marriage, they might not realize how they are ending it. As a result they can unknowingly give away important assets in the divorce.

How Attorneys Can Help

This is where attorneys are incredibly helpful. They understand the state divorce laws and can create an agreement that accurately abides by them. Along with creating an agreement that reflects specific needs, attorneys are also knowledgeable about language. They know what language will ensure that both parties get what they want. By knowing how to write the agreement, they can better ensure that each spouse will be treated fairly in the divorce as well.

Attorneys will also be more thorough in their process. While they understand that couples are ready for the marriage to be over, they see the marriage from the outside. Their position allows them to work through the process to ensure that the divorce is handled in a way that benefits everyone as much as possible. While the marriage might not be handled as quickly as possible, the couple will not regret loosing certain assets because of a rushed agreement.

Divorce is never an ideal situation. Whenever faced with problems, couples should try everything to save the marriage before considering divorce. When divorce becomes the only option, the best method to use is through a divorce attorney. While couples can work on it themselves, there is a larger chance that they will create an agreement that does not provide the best divorce possible. By hiring an attorney, couples will be able to reach a legal agreement that both parties can be happy with.

If you or someone you know is seeking a divorce, but does not know where to start, contact Christine Howard today. Christine or any member of her team will be happy to answer any questions about the process that you have. She can be reached by email at info@christinehoward.com or by phone at (864) 282-8575.

Referenced from Do You Need an Attorney for a Separation Agreement? by Melannie Dino

Can a Separation Agreement be Overturned?

Can a Separation Agreement be Overturned?

For many couples, divorce is the outcome of their marriage. No matter how hard they tried to make it work, nothing could help. They filed for a separation agreement, and began the process of divorce. Unfortunately, this is the end for the majority of these couples. But could their separation agreement be changed or overturned? The answer is yes. Separation agreements can be changed or overturned by the court. However, this is an incredibly difficult process and cannot be achieved easily. There are only a few circumstances where this is possible.

When are Separation Agreements Valid?

First, it is important to remember that a separation agreement is not valid until it is signed by both parties. If both spouses decide during the process that they want to reconcile, then they can nullify the agreement. It can be done if one spouse has already signed. During the negotiation period, it is crucial that couples read the separation agreements very carefully. When one spouse presents their “draft agreement” it is safe to assume that this is their strongest argument. Reading this carefully and fully understanding it will help couples in the long run. If both spouses sign and then try to overturn the agreement later, the argument “I did not understand this,” is not going to be very helpful.

When both parties have signed the agreement, but either one or both spouses want it to be changed, couples can begin by negotiating an “addendum.” This is an addition to the original agreement that acts as if it was a part of the agreement from the beginning. Addendums can successfully change separation agreements if both parties agree to sign it. If one party does not, then it cannot be considered valid.

How Can Agreements be Overturned?

Regarding overturning separation agreements, this is an almost impossible process. The courts are the best place to attempt it. The level of difficulty in overturning separation agreements varies in each state. For instance, in some states there are only two things that can get an agreement overturned by the court. The first is if a spouse signed under duress. This means that if the spouse was forced to sign through the threat of violence. The second is that the agreement is deemed unconscionable. This means that the person who signed was not of sound mind.

Why Are Separation Agreements Hard to Overturn?

Both of these claims are difficult to prove. For instance, duress requires that extreme behavior was taken to get a spouse to sign. This would cover having a gun held to the head of one spouse by the other. Purely verbal threats are not enough on their own to grant the overturning of an agreement. Listing the threats in the court case will certainly help the case though, so don’t rule them out completely.

For unconscionability, this can be hard to prove because judges know that people sign terrible agreements all the time. People do not have to be insane to sign bad agreements. Sound-minded individuals sign these for almost any reason, especially if they are desperate enough. Some marriages fit this description. Spouses are so desperate to get out that they are willing to sign anything if it means the end of their marriage. The best chance that couples have of getting an agreement thrown out by unconscionability is if one spouse received literally everything in the marriage while the other walked away empty handed.

Separation agreements are not easy to overrule. However, this does not mean that it cannot be done. If you or someone you know is going through a separation and is starting to rethink their decision, please contact Christine Howard today. Christine will be glad to talk with you and answer any questions you may have regarding your agreement. Contact her by email at info@christinehoward.com. She can also be reached by phone at (846) 282-8575.

Referenced from “What If I Already Signed a Separation Agreement” by Katie Carter.

Why is Uncontested Divorce Rare?

Why is Uncontested Divorce Rare?

While divorce is never an ideal experience to have, it is possible to have a civil divorce. Every couple going through divorce has this goal: to divorce in the easiest and simplest way possible. For many couples with this goal, they will choose an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is the best option for this situation, but the chances of it working out exactly like the couple would want are rare.

Division of Assets

While uncontested divorces are used by many couples, ones where both sides will get exactly what they want are not likely. It is almost impossible to receive everything desired both quickly and cheaply. The couple needs to learn to compromise on some things. This comes most often in division of assets. While this looks easy, looks can be deceiving. Compromising can prove to be a difficult task for divorcing couples. Even if they have mostly settled the division of assets, there is always one issue that will pop up. This is the main reason why simple uncontested divorces are rare. Most couples think that they can handle dividing up their assets without any problem. It’s only when they start realizing what they might have to give up that the problems arise.

Child Custody

Another factor regarding divorce is child custody. Determining how time with your children will be determined is perhaps the most important part of the divorce. Like other assets, child custody requires careful thought before proceedings. If couples want to obtain a completely hassle free and easy divorce, they need to weigh all of the factors. What will each person’s schedule be like? Who is going to be able to provide the most stable home for the children the majority of the time? Both partners are going to need to be willing to compromise. They need to put their children’s needs first and determine which one can meet the most needs, if both cannot equally.

While a completely quick and easy uncontested divorce is rare, it can be done. Both sides need to take the time before beginning proceedings to determine how they are going to divide their assets. In order to do this effectively, both spouses need to realize there will be compromising. If both spouses can do this, then a smooth divorce process is attainable.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about divorce, feel free to contact Christine Howard. Christine would be glad to talk with you about whether or not an uncontested divorce is right for your situation and what your next steps are. Contact Christine by phone at (864) 282-8575 or by email at info@christinehoward.com.

Adapted from How to Get Divorced in NM Without the Drama (and Expense!) by Anthony Spratley.

Knowing When It’s Time to Separate

Knowing When It’s Time to Separate

The one thing that every couple wants is a successful marriage. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Sometimes in marriage, divorce is inevitable. But how do you know when to keep fighting and when it is time for the marriage to end? There are several ways that allow you to know when it is time to separate.

You and Your Spouse Frequently Criticize Each Other

One sign that your marriage might be over is if you and your spouse are frequently critical towards each other. While occasional criticism is normal, excessive, almost passive aggressive criticism is not. Often times when this is happening, one or both spouses can be left feeling as though they are not good enough. If these feelings continue long enough, then the marriage will be coming to an end very quickly.

You Put Your Children First

In any relationship that involves children, it is important for you to put their needs above your own. If you continue to put your children’s needs above everything else, including those of you and your spouse, it can be detrimental to your marriage. While your children’s needs are important, you cannot spend all of your time and energy solely on them. In order to have a functioning, healthy relationship with your spouse, you need to invest in the needs of that relationship as well. By maintaining those needs, both of you are better equipped to handle the needs of your children.

You Feel Lonely With Your Spouse

If you have feelings of loneliness when you are with your spouse, this could also be a sign it is time to separate. Your spouse is the one who is meant to be your companion and best friend. They are the ones that you love and are meant to be able to confide in and share everything with. You are supposed to feel anything but loneliness when you are with them. But if you feel none of that when around them, your relationship might be beyond repair.

You Continually Argue About the Same Things

Another sign that it’s time to separate is if you and your spouse are constantly arguing over the same things. By arguing constantly, nothing is being resolved and the both spouses will remain miserable. If arguments are not being resolved, then there is no way for the relationship to continue moving forward. It stays in a stalemate with both parties feeling as though they cannot make any headway. Without resolving any disagreements, you will no longer experience any of the closeness that you had before and will potentially start drifting apart.

You Don’t Enjoy Spending Time With Each Other’s Family and Friends

Finally, one last sign that a divorce might be right for you is if you no longer enjoy being with your spouse’s friends and families. As a couple, the relationships you have with your other half’s friends and family are almost as important as the one you have with your spouse. It is often said that when you marry someone, you marry their family. As such, your relationship with them is crucial. If you do not enjoy spending time with your spouse’s family or friends, chances are you will begin to drift apart from your spouse. If these issues are not resolves quickly, then it can lead to you and your spouse spending more time with your individual friends and families than with each other.

Deciding whether or not a divorce is necessary is a difficult process. If you or someone you know is considering a divorce, feel free to contact Christine Howard today. Christine would be glad to talk with you about the process and answer any questions that you may have. She can be reached by phone at (864) 282-8575 or by email at info@christinehoward.com.

Adapted from 8 Ways You Know It’s Time to Divorce by Terry Gaspard.

Can a Separation Agreement be Overturned?

Divorce Mediation: Streamlining Your Divorce

Divorce can be a challenging process, both emotionally and literally. It can be especially challenging if both spouses are not on good terms. But one thing that can help to ease tensions during the divorce proceedings is divorce mediation. This is when the divorcing couple hires a separate, unbiased party to act as the mediator in any and all discussion. Most times this person is their divorce attorney. But it actually can be anyone the couple chooses and can agree upon. Divorce mediation is a great solution for couples who may not be able to come to an agreement on their own, but what about couples who can? In these cases, streamlining divorce is an alternative option to consider.

What is Streamlining?

Streamlining divorce is when a couple has basically reached an agreement about their divorce. They do not need help with coming to a decision like other couples would. Instead, they are ready to move forward with their divorce in the most cost-effective way possible. To do this though, they need legal help. They need someone who can walk with them through the process and make sure that everything is running smoothly. This is where a divorce attorney comes in.

What is the Attorney’s Role?

A divorce attorney’s role in the process is to act as a guide. The couple already knows they want to divorce, and they already have a plan in place. They just need help enacting the plan. This is where the attorney can help. He or she already knows their way around the legal system. They know what is needed in order to give the separating couple a smooth break. By working with the couple, the attorney can make sure continue to offer advice to the couple and ensure that the divorce is being handled correctly. In turn, the couple can have peace of mind knowing that their attempt at handling their own divorce was successful.

Benefits of Streamlined Divorce

In addition to having more control over the divorce, streamlining it also allows for a more cost-effective divorce. By settling any differences between each other, couples are able to save money because they are not spending as much time in the company of their attorney. Another benefit of streamlined divorce is that it allows less fighting between the divorcing couple. By tackling this process together without attorney assistance, they are required to work with each other to determine the terms of their divorce. This process can help ensure that the split will be as friendly and as easy as possible for everyone involved.

While divorce can be difficult, it is important to not make it harder than it needs to be. Streamlining your divorce can be a simple solution. If you or someone you know is thinking it might be time for a divorce, feel free to contact Christine Howard. Christine would be glad to talk with you about all of your options and help you determine the best course of action for your needs. You can reach out to Christine’s office by phone at (864) 282-8575 or by email at info@christinehoward.com.

Uncontested Divorce: Pros and Cons

Uncontested Divorce: Pros and Cons

There are two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested divorce. In a contested divorce, couples are unable to reach a decision as to why they are divorcing. When this happens, they are forced to take their divorce to court. An uncontested divorce happens when couples are able to reach a decision. This allows them to divorce quietly with the dignity of both parties in tact. While the pros of uncontested divorce make it the obvious choice, it is not without its cons as well.


There are many pros to an uncontested divorce. One of the biggest pros is that it is cost-effective. Because there are no long and drawn-out court battles, the bank account is saved from taking a massive hit. Another advantage is that there is less tension created in the relationship. Most divorced couples would like to remain friends. For the sake of everyone involved (especially children) it is best if the couple can remain friendly with one another. In most cases, this is possible. In others, it is harder. But through an uncontested divorce, there is a much higher chance of an amicable split. One last pro of an uncontested divorce is that couples are able to have more control over the division of their assets. By divorcing in a way that is amicable, the couple is better able to come to an agreement about who gets what without attorneys interfering.


While uncontested divorce is the most desirable option, it does have some cons. For instance, there are times when it is not practical. This occurs in certain cases, such as if the divorcing couple has a history of domestic abuse. Couples who suffer from abuse are not as likely to be able to, or even want to resolve their issues in a peaceful manner. Another instance where uncontested divorce is not optimal is with couples who are constantly fighting. Any chance that these couples have at an this type of divorce is very slim. Couples who are in this situation often times will not even be able to work with attorneys, let alone with each other to make an divorce end peacefully. The only alternative is a court date.

Divorce is never an easy process, but it can be made simpler. If you or someone you know is thinking about getting a divorce, but is not sure about what options are available, feel free to contact Christine Howard. Christine would be more than happy to talk with you and answer any questions that you might have about the process. If you would like to get in touch, call our office at (864) 282-8575 or email at info@christinehoward.com.

Adapted from The Pros and Cons of Uncontested Divorce by HG.org.