Wanting to file sep agreement with courts, but


The register of deeds says it will still be treated as a contract, not a court order. I thought if it was filed with the courts, it became a court order. I would prefer that the penalty for default would be contempt of court, not breach of contract…that’s harder to pursue I would think and more timely?

Should I even bother filing it? Is there a specific way to make the sep agreement a court order?
We do plan to have it notarized nonetheless.


*** Not a lawyer ***

If you want it to be a court order it needs to be ordered by the court, not just filed with them. Usually this is done by having it incorporated into the divorce judgement. Or, I suppose, you might be able to have a judge enter it as a consent order.

You do need to have it notarized for it to be valid. As for filing, it (or at least filing of a summary) may be required by third parties in order to make use of any free trader clause or the like. And I suppose it might prevent one or the other of you trying to replace pages in the middle of the agreement after the fact.


I’m not sure that all of it will be applied to the divorce decree–some things will change.

I read that I’d have to file a lawsuit in order to get a judge to sign an order of consent for separation…??


If you want the agreement to be a court order, you should include in the agreement that it will be incorporated as an order, and then ask for that as part of your relief in your complaint for divorce. Depending upon the terms of the agreement, there are pros and cons to having the agreement incorporated, and I cannot advise whether that is something you should do without a consultation to discuss the facts of your case, the reasoning behind the terms of the agreement and your enforcement concerns or potential reasons to modify in the future.

  1. Can the separation agreement be used as proof of the first day (besides utility bills/ lease agreement) that I move out of the residence?

  2. If I file a separation agreement how long will I have to move out of our residence?


Your separation agreement should state the date of separation, so yes, it could be used as evidence of the date of separation. If you are separating with the intent of divorce, you need to remain separated through the divorce. If your spouse vacates the residence, you can move back into the marital residence.