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Never sign a contract without understanding the meaning and the legal impact of each provision.

What if my spouse refuses to sign the separation agreement?

Specifically, Senate Bill 1255 adds new California Family Code Section 70.

Section 70(a) maintains that date of separation means the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, as evidenced by the two following facts: (1) the spouse has expressed his or her intent to end the marriage to the other spouse; and (2) the conduct of the spouse is consistent with his or her intent to end the marriage.

Do we have to sign papers in order to be officially separated? You are legally separated when one or both of you vacates the former marital residence, and begin living separate and apart with the intention of at least one spouse for the separation to be permanent.

A lawyer should always be retained to prepare a separation agreement and supervise the signing (or to review an agreement prepared by the other spouse’s attorney).If all of that is too wordy for you, you’re not the only one!Basically the California Family Code used to say that spouses had to be “living separate and apart” in order to define a date of separation.There is no law requiring a couple to sign a separation agreement.If your spouse will agree to participate, you might consider employing a certified family law mediator to help you negotiate an agreement that both husband and wife would be willing to sign.

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