When spouses separate, any agreements they reach relating to finances, support, child care and living arrangements should be formalized in writing. While this may seem like yet another act of distrust, in fact, it is a way to avoid future unnecessary conflicts. Verbal agreements are often misunderstood by one partner or the other, one partner or both may forget the terms of a deal, or two honest people may remember the same deal in two completely different ways. And, of course, there are those very sad situations in which one party is dishonest or ill and you cannot trust him or her to keep their word.
A written agreement cannot avoid all of these problems, but it certainly avoids most of them. There is no need to add to your pain by rehashing issues you have already dealt with before. While some small percentage of people can draft these agreements alone, an attorney will bring experience which allows you to have peace of mind that it is drafted properly. Imagine the frustration of having a deal, taking the time to write it down, and realizing when it is too late that it is not properly drafted or executed!
Sometimes, the agreements reached will resolve all of the issues. In those cases, after the agreement is drafted and properly signed, the contentious legal issues are then largely resolved and the case may become ‘uncontested.’ This not only saves both parties significant legal fees, but avoids the unpleasantness of airing the parties’ grievances against each other in public.
Other times, the agreements will only resolve some issues. It is still worth drafting and signing a Separation Agreement because the future issues that are left to be resolved, the easier the process.
Many people find that taking the "practical" things out of the realm of arguments helps them to either reconcile or heal.