A separation agreement is a private, written, legally binding contract spelling out each spouse’s rights and settling issues between spouses who have or intend to separate and/or divorce. Even if a divorce is not planned, and the separation is a trial separation, a legal agreement between the spouses can be extremely valuable. A separation agreement is NOT a court order. It is a contract, and is therefore governed by contract law regarding its formation and breach. Separation agreements can save a significant amount of time. Even if spouses can only agree on some of the issues and request that the court decide the others, the time and money saved is often well worth the effort.