Having an attorney assist you in creating a separation agreement is optional. Some states may not require a separation agreement be created. Having legal assistance may depend on your financial situation. Some couples opt to create an agreement on their own if they can't afford legal services. Others feel that because of assets and the multiple issues involved in their situation, that legal assistance is best to determine who should be responsible for certain transactions.
A separation agreement may involve arrangements for various situations including property, child support and custody, as well as who is responsible for debt incurred. Working with a lawyer may help you understand rules and laws related to separation more clearly which can make a difference in how the agreement is drawn up. A lawyer may help you understand how a judge rules on certain issues and proceedings.
While many often think that getting a lawyer is best when things emotionally heat up between each spouse, this isn't always the case. In presenting your agreement in court, legal representation can help minimize tension and hostilities when in front of the judge. This may be challenging for someone representing themselves. In turn, a lawyer will work with you to obtain the results you want.
Creating a separation agreement may be challenging if you're not aware of what can and cannot be included. If the agreement will be presented to a judge for approval, you'll have to make sure it is drafted in the correct format and language for it to be satisfied. A divorce lawyer or legal representative can review questions and concerns.