Informal Separation Agreement: How To Write It Right!

An informal separation agreement is a written contract between two partners who are contemplating a break but aren’t yet ready to divorce. It’s used to settle matters related to finances, property, and sometimes children. 

While informal separation agreements aren’t legally binding in some jurisdictions, they do serve as evidence of the intentions of both parties during separation. Here’s how you can craft one:

1. Understand the Purpose

Before you start writing, understand the purpose of the informal separation agreement. 

This isn’t a divorce decree or a legally binding separation; it’s more of a mutual agreement between two parties to outline the terms of their break.

2. Gather Necessary Information

Before drafting, assemble all relevant information, which includes:

  • Financial information (assets, debts, income, etc.)
  • Details about shared property
  • Information about children (if applicable)

3. Start with Basic Information

Begin the agreement by stating the full names of both parties, along with the date and place (city, state) of agreement.


Trending Now

This Informal Separation Agreement (hereafter referred to as the “Agreement”) is made on [Date], between [Party 1 Full Name] and [Party 2 Full Name], both of [City, State].

4. State the Purpose

Make a brief declaration of the intention behind the agreement.


The purpose of this Agreement is to define and clarify the terms upon which the parties have agreed to separate and manage their joint responsibilities during the period of separation.

5. Define Financial Terms

Specify the financial arrangements during separation, such as:

  • Who will bear the household expenses?
  • How will shared debts be paid?
  • Will there be any financial support or alimony, and how much?

6. Address Property Distribution

Specify arrangements related to shared property. This can include:

  • The residence: Who will continue to stay in the shared home, or if it will be sold?
  • Personal property: How will items like cars, furniture, and other valuables be divided or used?

7. Discuss Arrangements for Children

If children are involved, define the terms of custody, visitation, and financial support.

  • Custody: Who will the children live with primarily?
  • Visitation: Outline a basic schedule or method to determine visitation.
  • Support: Decide on any child support payments, including amount and frequency.

8. Include a Confidentiality Clause

Considering the personal nature of the information in the agreement, you might want to include a confidentiality clause to protect both parties.


Both parties agree to keep the terms and conditions of this Agreement confidential and will not disclose them to any third party without the written consent of the other, except as required by law.

9. Include a Revision Clause

Since this is an informal agreement, you may need to make adjustments in the future. Including a clause about revisions can be helpful.


This Agreement may be revised or amended with the written consent of both parties.

10. Have a Resolution Mechanism

In case of disagreements, provide a means for resolution, such as mediation or seeking the advice of a legal professional.

11. Sign and Date

Both parties should sign and date the agreement to signify their acceptance of its terms.

12. Consult a Lawyer

While the separation agreement is informal, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer to ensure that your interests are protected and that you’re not inadvertently overlooking any important aspects.

Remember: An informal separation agreement is not legally binding in some jurisdictions. If you wish to enforce the agreement, you will need to take further legal steps. Always consult with an attorney to understand the implications and legal validity of any agreement you draft.

Template 1: Basic Informal Separation Agreement


This Agreement, made on [Date], is between [Party 1 Full Name] and [Party 2 Full Name], both of [Address, City, State].


The parties agree to live separately, without interference from one another. The intention of this Agreement is to outline their mutual understanding during this separation period.


  1. [Party 1/Party 2] shall pay the mortgage/rent for the property located at [Address].
  2. Both parties will equally split utilities, including water, electricity, and internet.
  3. [Party 1/Party 2] shall retain ownership of [specific asset, e.g., the car, jewelry].


The children shall reside primarily with [Party 1/Party 2]. Visitation schedules will be as mutually agreed upon by both parties. No child support shall be paid by either party during the duration of this Agreement.


Both parties agree to keep the contents and terms of this Agreement private and confidential.


This Agreement can be modified with the written agreement of both parties.


[Party 1 Name] _________________ Date: _______

[Party 2 Name] _________________ Date: _______

Template 2: Detailed Informal Separation Agreement with Assets and Liabilities


Between [Party 1 Full Name] and [Party 2 Full Name], dated [Date].


[Party 1] and [Party 2], desiring to live separately, wish to define their mutual responsibilities and clarify the arrangements they intend to make concerning finances, property, and childcare during this period.


  1. [Party 1/Party 2] shall continue to pay for the house mortgage at [Address].
  2. Joint bank accounts shall be closed and funds equally divided.
  3. Outstanding debts (as of [Date]) shall be equally shared and paid off by both parties.


  1. [Party 1/Party 2] shall have exclusive use and ownership of [specific asset, e.g., car, laptop].
  2. Household items shall be divided as listed in Attachment A to this Agreement.


Both parties agree to co-parent and ensure the best interests of the children. The children will stay with [Party 1/Party 2] on weekdays and with [Party 2/Party 1] on weekends.


In case of disagreements or disputes arising from this Agreement, parties will seek mediation before taking any legal action.


This document contains the entire agreement between parties and can only be changed in writing and agreed upon by both.


[Party 1 Name] _________________ Date: _______

[Party 2 Name] _________________ Date: _______

Template 3: Comprehensive Informal Separation Agreement


Executed on [Date] between [Party 1 Full Name] (“First Party”) and [Party 2 Full Name] (“Second Party”).


Whereas both parties have mutually decided to live apart, they wish to outline the terms during this separation.


1.1 Both parties shall maintain separate bank accounts. 1.2 First Party shall pay for the children’s school fees and Second Party shall cover healthcare costs.


2.1 The property at [Address] shall be sold, and profits will be divided equally. 2.2 Personal property, such as [list specific items], will remain with the First Party.


3.1 Both parties shall share joint custody of the children. 3.2 Any major decisions concerning the children will be made jointly.


This Agreement shall be reviewed after a period of [6 months/1 year] and changes made if necessary.


Both parties commit to resolving any arising disagreements amicably. If this fails, they agree to undergo mediation.


Both parties acknowledge that this is an informal agreement and may not have legal standing in a court of law.


[Party 1 Name] _________________ Date: _______

[Party 2 Name] _________________ Date: _______

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is an informal separation agreement?

Answer: An informal separation agreement is a written agreement between two parties who have decided to live apart but not legally divorce. The agreement outlines the terms of the separation including living arrangements, custody of children, division of property, child and spousal support, and other relevant issues.

Q. Is an informal separation agreement legally binding?

Answer: An informal separation agreement is not legally binding, but it can be enforceable in court if the terms are followed by both parties. However, it is always advisable to seek legal advice before entering into any agreement.

Q. Do I need a lawyer to create an informal separation agreement?

Answer: It is not required to have a lawyer to create an informal separation agreement, but it is advisable to consult with a lawyer to ensure that the agreement is legally sound and binding. A lawyer can also help ensure that the agreement is fair to both parties.

Q. Can an informal separation agreement be changed?

Answer: An informal separation agreement can be changed if both parties agree to the changes. The changes should be put in writing and signed by both parties to make it legally enforceable.

Q. How long does an informal separation agreement last?

Answer: An informal separation agreement lasts until the parties reconcile or until a legal divorce is obtained. However, the terms of the agreement can be modified during the separation period if both parties agree.

how to get legal separation papers