Separation agreements are contracts between the parties entered into at the time of, or prior to, the final dissolution of the marriage. Separation agreements deal with all of the aspects of divorce and death that a prenuptial agreement deals with. If no prenuptial agreement is in effect, a separation agreement deals with the issues of property division, in accord with the definitions of and valuations of “Separate” and “Marital Property.”
Issues which should be dealt with by a separation agreement are the disposition of property rights in businesses, professional practices, real estate, pension rights and all other property rights; alimony, child custody and support and other related matters are also dealt with at this time. With respect to inheritance, rights of election, insurance policies, health care and health insurance policies, those rights should either be waived or otherwise dealt with in a separation agreement. In South Carolina, the separation agreement is not enforceable as a separate contract and is enforceable as a court order once the separation agreement is approved by the Family Court and incorporated in a court order.