First steps in a KISS seperation

Hi - my wife and I are both in agreement that we want to go our separate ways, but keep things as simple and noncontentious as possible. So far we have discussed the terms of the settlement, and we both agree on everything. We are not separating angrily, and still care about the others well being.

With this in mind, what is the easiest and most inexpensive way to draw up a separation agreement? Can we work through a mediator, as opposed to hiring separate lawyers?

I have seen DIY Seperation documents online. Are these valid?

I would appreciate if your firm could provide an honest answer. I understand you might have a slight conflict of interest.


You can hire a mediator to help you work towards an agreement, however it sounds as though you have already agreed to the terms of your separation. A mediator’s purpose is to help two parties reach and agreement. Many mediators are non-lawyers, and are not qualified to draft legal documents. Your best bet is to hire a lawyer to draft an agreement according to the terms you and your wife have agreed upon. Your wife can then schedule a one time appointment with another attorney who will review it from your wife’s perspective.

DYI agreements are valid if signed an notarized by both parties, however you can fall into the same pitfalls with these agreements as you can with any agreement a non-lawyer drafts. If you chose this route I strongly suggest taking the document to an attorney for review to ensue the proper waivers, ect are included in any document BEFORE you sign it.

Thanks for weighing in on this.

One more question: I know its advisable to get two seperate lawyers for the man & wife, but is it the case that ONE attorney will agree to review the documents for both of us? I feel that once each side employs its own resources, your both just inviting antagonistic opinions.

We just want to be sure there are no glaring legal holes that we may be missing.

Thanks again.

One attorney cannot review the agreement for both of you. As lawyers we must represent our client’s best interest to the exclusion of others. In a domestic case, it is impossible to represent the best interests of two conflicting parties (even if you and your wife are amicably separating, undoubtedly you have competing interests).