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 She can also be reached by phone at (846) 282-8575.

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

Simple Divorce – How A Separation Agreement Works

Simple Divorce – How A Separation Agreement Works

When a couple decides to divorce, it can be a difficult time. Both members are having to adjust to a new normal. No divorce is ever easy, but sometimes they can be made simpler. One way is through a separation agreement. A separation agreement is one of the best ways to help ease the difficulties that divorce brings.

How It Works

A separation agreement allows couples to determine how to divide their assets before the divorce. This way a couple can work out who will receive what before the actual process of divorcing begins. This can come as a relief for many couples. A divorce is already stressful enough. No one wants to add fighting over assets to the to-do list as well.

How It Helps a Divorce

Rather than settle how finances will be divided or who will gain custody of any children in court, a separation agreement helps to settle these issues out of court. In South Carolina, a separation agreement is gained during the period of separation, which must be for a least a year before a couple can legally proceed with a divorce. This time apart can sometimes be the deciding factor in whether or not a couple ultimately decides to separate or stay together.

Contact Us

We at Christine M. Howard Law are committed to ensuring that every couple who is looking to split is able to go through the divorce with dignity. If you or your spouse are wanting a divorce, but are not sure what the best course of action to take is, feel free to contact us at or call us at (864) 282-8575.

How a Separation Agreement Helps Keep Your Dignity

How a Separation Agreement Helps Keep Your Dignity

Divorce is never easy for anyone. The entire process can be stressful and difficult for all parties involved. One of the most difficult parts is the separation. Both spouses are having to adjust to a new and scary situation. Most likely, there will be much anger throughout the process. Both sides might lash out at one another and harsh words could be said. The last thing that anyone wants to deal with after that is determining how property will be divided. This is where a separation agreement comes in. By determining beforehand how issues will be handled, a couple can help to preserve their dignity rather than rip it away from each other.

Keeping Dignity

Through a separation agreement, a couple can file for what is known as an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce allows couples to avoid all of the stress that would normally be a part of the process. However, in order to file for an uncontested divorce, a couple must first have lived separately for a year. This allows them to think about the choice they are making. This year also allows the couple to create a separation agreement. This agreement helps couples to divide assets, such as finances and property, before the actual divorce proceedings.

Through gaining a separation agreement, a couple is able to keep their dignity. No one wants to yell and scream at each other during a long court fight. Through this method, couples can settle their affairs peacefully. By dealing with the issues outside of court, both spouses can skip over the pain and humiliation that might follow the proceedings. Through this method, couples can also part ways more amicably than they would if they endured a screaming match with one another.

Contact Us

We at Christine M. Howard Law are committed to ensuring that every couple who is looking to split is able to go through the divorce with dignity. If you or your spouse are wanting a divorce, but are not sure what the best course of action to take is, feel free to contact us at or call us at (864) 282-8575.

Benefits of a Separation Agreement

Benefits of a Separation Agreement

One of the hardest parts about a divorce is the separation. It can be confusing and painful time for both spouses. But a separation agreement can help to ease the pain by allowing both partners to set aside cash for the next step in their lives. Also known as a “conjugal partition understanding,” this is a course of action between a married couple that resolves the most pressing issues that arise when the couple decides to split. Usually the issues that this agreement covers are the guardianship of children, division of property, as well as spousal and child support.

No one wants to deal with a long and costly fight in court, that only increases the amount of stress and anger the separating couple is experiencing. A conjugal understanding, which can be drawn up by an attorney, can help the couple settle the most tumultuous issues before beginning to petition for legal separation.

South Carolina Conditions

South Carolina requires that couples who wish to maintain a separation agreement for divorce live apart for a year. During this year there should be clear boundaries. If couples occasionally date each other during this time, then courts will most likely declare the marriage salvageable and will mandate counseling.

When trying to gain a conjugal understanding, it is advised that couples do not share an attorney. It is better for each spouse to have a separate lawyer so that each spouses needs can be adequately attended to, rather than having one person try to take care of both members.

Types of Agreements

There are many different ways that a conjugal understanding can set aside money. Some types include:
1. Medical services

If a spouse or child is receiving medical coverage under the other spouse’s arrangement, a conjugal agreement can allow the family to remain on the plan until the separation is complete.

2. Financials

This feature allows spouses to determine who will receive what property as well as who will pay for it.

3. The isolation or termination of shared services

If spouses share finances, a conjugal agreement allows them to determine who will possess what assets, regardless of whether or not the account is going to be closed. It also allows for the cash in the records to be parted in a way that will not leave one spouse with nothing.

4. Obligation division

Conjugal agreements can also provide for divisions of obligation between spouses. If any obligation is created during the marriage or after the date of partition, it is to be separated. This allows for one spouse to not be saddled with obligations that they are not equipped to handle.

If you or your spouse are considering a divorce or a conjugal agreement, it is important to not rush into any decisions. Take time to try and settle your grievances before you call a lawyer. But if the two of you have decided that this is right step, then contact Christine Howard at (864) 282-8575 or email at