(f)The agreement must “make sense” andbe understandable to someone otherthan you and your spouse. Even if theparties think that they understand theagreement perfectly, what they intendmay not be obvious years later if a dis-pute subsequently arises. Because a judge may be called upon to interpretthe agreement, the terms and condi-tions must be clear and capable of onlyone meaning. Sometimes, having a friendreview the agreement
it’s executedto ensure that it’s understandable canbe helpful. If you still have concerns,have the document reviewed by a lawyer.If you do not understand a particular clauseof the agreement or are confused about an issue,investigate further. Do not agree to anything youdo not understand. If you remain uncertain orconfused, talk to a lawyer.While you can add terms to your separationagreement at any point in the agreement, the wording should be clear, legible, and sensible. Inorder for the amendments to be valid, they mustbe initialed by both parties. For example, should you wish to add an item to the MatrimonialHome clause, you should type or handwrite theadditional wording and then initial the amend-ment in the margin as shown below:
Signing and witnessing the agreement
Once you have completed the main body of theagreement, check it for accuracy but do not signor date the agreement. Before you sign, make asmany copies of the agreement as you will need.Good quality photocopies are sufficient for thispurpose, or you can print out the copies you havecompleted on your word processor. You will needat least two copies of the agreement, one for yourspouse and one for you. If you sign the agreementbefore you make the copies, the signatures willnot be original signatures and may not be valid.For the signing of the agreement, you will
need a witness who is an adult (i.e., over 18)and is competent (i.e., understands what is beingdone). In front of your witness, date the agreement,
PREPARING YOURSEPARATION AGREEMENT What is in a separation agreement?
Most separation agreements consist of the sameessential points: They start with the date and thefull names of the parties to the agreement.
, which describe the background or partic-ulars of the agreement, follow. Next, the terms of the arrangement (the
) form the mainbody of the agreement. Finally, the documentends with the
(signing of the agreementby both parties), properly witnessed.Examine the sample at the end of this guideand identify each of these components. Schedule Adescribes the assets and liabilities of the partiesand should be added to the back of the agreement.
Completing the agreement
This kit contains a blank perforated copy of thebasic separation agreement. There is also a
that contains the blank forms in electronicformat for you to use on a
. Once you have fa-miliarized yourself with the agreement, use onecopy of the form to prepare a draft or rough copyby filling in all the variables that apply to yourparticular circumstance.When you are satisfied with the agreementand your spouse has agreed to the terms, use asecond copy of the agreement to prepare yourfinal draft, keeping the following in mind:(a)Add any terms that you want included inthe agreement, but ensure that such ad-ditions make good sense and clearly de-scribe what is intended.(b)Names, addresses, and dates must be infull and must be accurate.(c)Delete any clauses that do not apply bydrawing a line through the words or sen-tences that you intend to omit. Aftercopies of the document are made, both you and your spouse should initial thesedeletions.(d)When two alternative words are pre-sented (such as he/she) be sure to crossout the one that does not apply.(e)All disclosure particulars must be fullyand fairly described. Failure to disclosean asset (such as savings in your namealone) may invalidate the agreement.
Both parties will continueto jointly own and use (totheir mutual benefit) thePuerto Vallarta time share.